28 June 1965 – U.S. forces launch the first major offensive in the Vietnam War. “In the first major offensive ordered for U.S. forces, 3,000...Read More
Richard N. Goddard
Rick’s “titanium mistress”…
“I called it my titanium mistress because you depended on it to work exactly as it was designed. You depended on your crew chief to make sure everything worked as it should.”
Goddard flew combat missions in his “titanium mistress,” including support missions where he dropped bombs and other ordnance to support troops fighting on the ground. Like many F-100 pilots, he conducted bombing and strafing missions to disrupt enemy supply lines along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
Bombing runs in the F-100 required “a tremendous mathematical operation in your head You had to determine if your dive angle, drift, altitude, and airspeed were correct at the moment you released your bombs. All that had to be done in your brain.”
The Defense Department lists 1,785 US Air Force battle deaths during the Vietnam War era. “We lost some very good friends who didn’t come home.” When he received his Silver Star he said, “Lots of other folks have done marvelous acts of bravery in every way, but there was never anybody there to report it.”
Over the years, he’s become more thankful that his “titanium mistress” helped keep him alive during combat.
“I began to think I owed that airplane a lot,” Goddard said.
That sentiment made Goddard go looking for his plane. The tail number led him to Cape Cod’s Otis Air National Guard Base, where he found it displayed outdoors in bitter New England winters. “I couldn’t just let it just sit in the cold in Massachusetts,” he said.
He enlisted help from the Museum of Aviation. The museum has restored Goddard’s old Super Sabre and it is on display.
“It (the F-100) never balked; it never said, ‘I can’t do this,’” Goddard said. “It took some hits and it still brought me home. So, I owe that airplane to sit somewhere where it can be admired and respected.”(1)
Major General Rick Goddard retired from the USAF in March of 2000. In 2003, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue appointed Goddard to the Board of Directors of the Georgia Military Coordinating Committee, which is chartered to provide direct support to Georgia’s military installations and military service members in Georgia.
Since July 2006, Goddard has been the Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia; prior to that, he was the Senior Vice President for Administration.
(Source: (1) quotes excerpted from the article: Air warrior pays a Memorial Day tribute to his ‘titanium mistress’ by Thom Patterson, CNN, May 25, 2017) For the full article go to https://www.cnn.com/2017/05/25/politics/century-series-usaf-jet-fighter-pilot/index.html, (2) Wikipedia
- 11/1966-1/1967 student, Officer Training School, Lackland AFB, TX
- 1/1967-2/1968 student, undergraduate pilot training, Vance AFB, OK
- 2/1968-10/1968 student, tactical fighter training, Luke AFB, AZ
- 10/1968-10/1969 309th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Tuy Hoa Air Base, South Vietnam (F-100D)
- 11/1969-3/1973 3645th Pilot Training Squadron, 47th Flying Training Wing, Laughlin AFB, TX (T-37)
- 3/1973-10/1975 449th Avionics Maintenance Squadron/commander, 449th Airborne Missile Maintenance Squadron, Kincheloe AFB, MI
- 10/1975-1/1976 Combat crew training, Plattsburgh AFB, NY (FB-111)
- 1/1976-7/1979 Combat crew member, instructor pilot, flight examiner and chief, Bomber Standardization and Evaluation Branch, 715th Bombardment Squadron, Pease AFB, NH (FB-111)
- 7/1979-7/1981 Bomber Branch Chief and B-1 program monitor, Air Vehicles Division, Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt AFB, NE
- 7/1981-3/1984 509th Avionics Maintenance Squadron, later, commander, 393rd Bombardment Squadron, Pease Air Force Base, NH
- 3/1984 – 8/1985 chief, Strategic Aircraft Division, Directorate of Operational Requirements, Deputy Chief of Staff for Research, Development and Acquisition, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, the Pentagon, Washington, DC
- 8/1985-6/1986 Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, DC
- 6/1986-7/1989 380th Bombardment Wing, vice commander/commander, Plattsburgh AFB, NY
- 7/1989-2/1991 assistant deputy chief of staff for requirements, Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb.
- 2/1991 – 7/1992 deputy director for the National Strategic Target List; later, deputy director for force employment plans, Joint Strategic Target Planning Staff, Offutt AFB, NE
- 7/1992 -7/1993 27th Fighter Wing, Cannon AFB, NM
- 7/1993- 1/1995 director of logistics, Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Ramstein Air Base, Germany
- 2/1995-11/1997 director of logistics, Headquarters Air Combat Command, Langley AFB, VA
- 11/1997-3/2000, commander, Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, Robins AFB, GA
- 3/2000 Retired from USAF
Awards & Decorations
Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross
Meritorious Service Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters
Air Medal with 11 Oak Leaf Clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters
Rating: Command pilot
Flight hours: More than 3,500, including 227 combat missions in the F-100
Military & Civilian Education
- 1966 Officer Training School, Distinguished Graduate, Lackland Air Force Base
- 1986 Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, DC
- 1966 Bachelor of science degree in political science, University of Utah
- 1975 Master of science degree in business administration, Central Michigan University
- 1986 Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
- 1994 Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University