30 November 1957 – Capt Benny Lacombe is killed when he unsuccessfully attempts to bail out of Lockheed U-2A, 56-6704, Article 371, 13 miles SE of Laughlin AFB. Ejection seats had not yet been fitted to U-2s at this point. The history of the U-2 program is fraught with fatalities and crashes. “CIA pilots Wilburn S.
Upon completion of UPT, I was assigned to the 37th Air Division (ADC), Goose Bay, Labrador flying the T-33A. The mission included radar evaluation flights against various radar sites and both high and low-level target profiles for various ADC/NORAD interceptors including the Canadian Forces.
Following this, I was assigned to F-100’s and attended RTU at Luke AFB, Az. I completed RTU and was assigned to Phan Rang AB, RVN for a 6-month SEA tour with the 615th TFS. Due to the withdrawal of all F-100 aircraft from SEA in Aug 71, I completed the remainder of my SEA tour as an Operations Staff Officer at Nakhon Phanom RTAFB, Thailand as a ground FAC coordinating and clearing airstrikes on the Viet Cong highway network based upon sensors embedded in the road structure.
After returning from Southeast Asia, I was assigned to ATC as a T-38 instructor pilot. In 1976, I transferred to the Missouri Air National Guard, 110th FTS, and finished my career with the Missouri Air National Guard flying the F-100, F-4, T-33, C-12, C-26, and a special project certifying AT-33 aircraft for foreign forces.
I retired in 1997 as Director of Operations for the Missouri Air National Guard, State Headquarters. On transferring to the Missouri Air National Guard, I attended law school starting in 1976 and I retired in December 2018 after 40 years of practicing as an intellectual property attorney in St. Louis, Missouri.
If I had to do it all over again, I would not change a thing.