PRESS RELEASE — Marking the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War, “Misty” pilots reunited on October 30, 2014 at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor on Ford Island, Honolulu, Hawaii. The day included a tour of the Museum’s two hangars and 45+ aircraft, a panel discussion and book signing of Misty and Bury Me Upside Down, and the Museum’s North American F-100F Super Sabre dedication to Col “Bud” Day, call sign Misty 1, the first commander of Operation Commando Sabres, Vietnam prisoner of war and Medal of Honor recipient, and to Col “Lacy” Veach, Misty 93 pilot and Hawai’i’s second astronaut with NASA who flew on two missions of the space shuttle Columbia.
General Lori Robinson, commanding general of Pacific Air Forces, pilot Dick Rutan Misty 40, and Air Force Major General Don Shepperd, Misty37 were among the guest speakers. Hawaiian Kahu Kordell Kekoa gave a very moving Hawaiian blessing of the aircraft, with all 30 pilots in attendance and participating, along with Col Day’s wife Doris and Col Veach’s sister Diana Barcena all holding a part of the aircraft, placing their hands on the plane, with specially blessed Hawaiian waters. A large ceremonial maile lei was draped on the aircraft.
According to Mr. Kenneth DeHoff, Executive Director Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor “These fighter pilots were some of the best and we honor their Vietnam War heroism by dedicating our F-100F Super Sabre to them and to the memory of all the Mistys who gave their all.” F-100F serial number 58-1232 was recently restored by the Museum’s Lt. Ted Shealy’s Restoration Shop crew.In 1967, a group of combat-experienced fighter pilot volunteers were brought together in the Republic of South Vietnam to form a top secret squadron with a now-famous callsign: Misty. Their mission as forward air controllers (FAC) was to fly fast and low over the Ho Chi Minh Trail in North Vietnam and Laos, armed with only their cannons and marking rockets. Their goal was to locate and destroy enemy supplies and equipment. When a Misty located a target, he marked it and directed bombing strikes.
Mistys flew the two-seat version of the Super Sabre, the F-100F, and although they flew fast (350 to 550 MPH), and they continually changed direction to spoil the enemy’s aim, still, 28% of the Misty pilots were shot down during the three years they were active. Their first commander, Colonel “Bud” Day, was one of those shot down, and he became a POW in the Hanoi Hilton. Col Day returned March 14, 1973 along with 591 other POWs, a part of Operations Homecoming. He died July 27, 2013.Many Misty pilots went on to important positions, including two Air Force Chiefs of Staff, seven general officers, two astronauts, numerous industry CEOs, and the first man to fly nonstop around the world unrefueled in a light aircraft.
Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor, America’s first aviation battlefield, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to develop and maintain an internationally recognized aviation museum on historic Ford Island that educates young and old alike, honors aviators and their support personnel who defended freedom in The Pacific Region, and to preserve Pacific aviation history.Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is located at 319 Lexington Boulevard in Hangars 37, 79, and the iconic Ford Island Control Tower on Ford Island at Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, Hawaii 96818; 808-441-1000, PacificAvitionMuseum.org.
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