30 September 1966 – LtCol Walter “Mel” Fowler’s F-100 #553502 is hit in the engine by gunfire over SVN. He came close to capture or death by closely advancing Viet Cong before his wingman suppressed the advancing VC and he was picked up from the rice paddy by an Army Helo. Fowler was serving with
Francis J. Loftus
Frank’s service by years and jobs were as follows: 1950-1956 trained for and served as a GCA Operator; 1956-1958 Flight Facilities Officer, Robins AFB, GA; beginning in 1960 he completed jet pilot training at Laredo, TX, operational training in the F-100 Super Saber (better know as the “Hun”) at Nellis AFB, NV, and flew the Hun with the 416th Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS) at Misawa, Japan, until 1963.
From 1963-to-1966, he served as an Instructor Pilot with the 3560th Pilot Training Squadron at Webb AFB, TX, (T-33, T-37); from 1966, he served first with the 514th Fighter Squadron (VNAF) at Bien Hoa, RVN, flying A-1Hs until he was reassigned to the 90th TFS at Bien Hoa, again flying the Hun until his PCS SEA tour ended near the end of 1967; back stateside, still flying Huns, he served with the 524th TFS at Cannon AFB, NM, until late 1969.
At that time Major Loftus became the ALO for the 2nd Armored Div. based at Ft. Hood, TX, and by mid-1971, he was reassigned to the staff of the 12th Air Force IG at Bergstrom AFB, TX. In both his last assignments, he continued to fly F-100s AND T-33s and he retired in 1972 … with a heck of a lot of F-100 Super Saber/Hun time!