John R. “Bob” Childers


 

Preferred Name: Bob

Nickname/Call Sign: Chilly

Date Of Birth: 07-07-1934

Highest Military Grade Held: Lt Col, O5

Hometown: Shreveport, LA

Biography

I was determined to fly single engine/single seat fighters and TAC seemed to be closing down many locations during my pilot training, so upon graduation, I asked for ADC (and was lucky enough be assigned to Advanced Interceptor Training at Moody. During my six (06) months at Moody, it appeared that TAC had survived, and our class received three direct assignments to F-100’s at George AFB. I was again lucky enough to be able to choose one of these assignments and went directly to the 31st TFW, George AFB (no Luke or Willis). Five (5) Lt’s arrived (3 from Moody and 2 from Perrin) at George and you can imagine what the Wing DO said: ‘I have four squadron’s of Combat Ready F-100 aircrews —

I do not have time to train you people. As you would imagine, the five of us sat around for a couple of months doing nothing. Thankfully, I was assigned to a Squadron with a Commander who had some feelings for us, and he had some contacts and pulled some strings The five of us were sent to Nellis to receive a “Check Out” in the Hun. When we arrived, two of the Lt’s were sent to each of the two training squadrons and I was sent to the Fighter Weapons School (you remember — the criteria for FWS was a minimum of 1000 hours F-100 time and hand picked by their respective Squadron Commanders.) You could never imagine what happened next — I had a VERY short ground school telling me everything you SHOULD know about the Hun, was introduced to my IP and flew Transition One with two touch & go’s and a full stop. While walking back to Operations to debrief, my IP pointed to an F-4D and said “You are flying as number TWO on an Air to Ground sortie this afternoon”! I obviously lived through about 25 hours of training with some of the greatest pilots in the world, went back to George, qualified for Combat Ready and flew a “D” model across the pond (FA-114) before most of my classmates (59G) finished their training and were assigned to TAC squadrons. Believe it of not —

One of the IP’s at FWS (it was either Boyd or Bond) said one day: “What they have done to you is insane — however, if you live through the first 100 hours of flying the Hun, you will probably be a damn good Fighter Pilot!” Maybe he knew what he was talking about — I flew fighters for the next 19 years (including 203 missions in Vietnam flying the Phantom) and here I am today, 33 years after retiring in 1978.

Units Assigned

  • 1958: Class 59G, Bainbridge, GA, T-34 & T-37
  • 1958-59: Primary Pilot Tng, Greenville MS, T-33
  • 1959: Advanced Interceptor Tng, Moody AFB, GA F-86L
  • 1959-61: 307th TFS, George AFB, CA F-100 D
  • 1961-64: 92nd TFS, RAF Bentwaters, UK F-101 A&C
  • 1964-69; 47th & 45th TFS, (64-69), MacDill AFB, FL (TDY Ubon 65), F-4 C/D/E
  • 1969: 389th & 4th TFS, Danang AB, RVN F-4 E
  • 1970-71: 35th TFS/Wing Flt Test, Yokota AB, Japan F-4C
  • 1971-74: Wing Flt Test/QC, Kadena AB, Okinawa F-4C & RF-4C
  • 1975: ALO – Ft Hood, TX O-2
  • 1976-78: 63rd TFS, MacDill AFB, FL F-4 C/D/E)

Awards & Decorations

Flight Info

Military Education

  • Command & Staff 1977-8

Civilian Education

  • BS Electrical Engineering (LSU 57)
  • MS System Mgt (USC 74)
Biography

Biography

I was determined to fly single engine/single seat fighters and TAC seemed to be closing down many locations during my pilot training, so upon graduation, I asked for ADC (and was lucky enough be assigned to Advanced Interceptor Training at Moody. During my six (06) months at Moody, it appeared that TAC had survived, and our class received three direct assignments to F-100’s at George AFB. I was again lucky enough to be able to choose one of these assignments and went directly to the 31st TFW, George AFB (no Luke or Willis). Five (5) Lt’s arrived (3 from Moody and 2 from Perrin) at George and you can imagine what the Wing DO said: ‘I have four squadron’s of Combat Ready F-100 aircrews —

I do not have time to train you people. As you would imagine, the five of us sat around for a couple of months doing nothing. Thankfully, I was assigned to a Squadron with a Commander who had some feelings for us, and he had some contacts and pulled some strings The five of us were sent to Nellis to receive a “Check Out” in the Hun. When we arrived, two of the Lt’s were sent to each of the two training squadrons and I was sent to the Fighter Weapons School (you remember — the criteria for FWS was a minimum of 1000 hours F-100 time and hand picked by their respective Squadron Commanders.) You could never imagine what happened next — I had a VERY short ground school telling me everything you SHOULD know about the Hun, was introduced to my IP and flew Transition One with two touch & go’s and a full stop. While walking back to Operations to debrief, my IP pointed to an F-4D and said “You are flying as number TWO on an Air to Ground sortie this afternoon”! I obviously lived through about 25 hours of training with some of the greatest pilots in the world, went back to George, qualified for Combat Ready and flew a “D” model across the pond (FA-114) before most of my classmates (59G) finished their training and were assigned to TAC squadrons. Believe it of not —

One of the IP’s at FWS (it was either Boyd or Bond) said one day: “What they have done to you is insane — however, if you live through the first 100 hours of flying the Hun, you will probably be a damn good Fighter Pilot!” Maybe he knew what he was talking about — I flew fighters for the next 19 years (including 203 missions in Vietnam flying the Phantom) and here I am today, 33 years after retiring in 1978.

Units - Education - Awards - Flight Info

Units Assigned

  • 1958: Class 59G, Bainbridge, GA, T-34 & T-37
  • 1958-59: Primary Pilot Tng, Greenville MS, T-33
  • 1959: Advanced Interceptor Tng, Moody AFB, GA F-86L
  • 1959-61: 307th TFS, George AFB, CA F-100 D
  • 1961-64: 92nd TFS, RAF Bentwaters, UK F-101 A&C
  • 1964-69; 47th & 45th TFS, (64-69), MacDill AFB, FL (TDY Ubon 65), F-4 C/D/E
  • 1969: 389th & 4th TFS, Danang AB, RVN F-4 E
  • 1970-71: 35th TFS/Wing Flt Test, Yokota AB, Japan F-4C
  • 1971-74: Wing Flt Test/QC, Kadena AB, Okinawa F-4C & RF-4C
  • 1975: ALO – Ft Hood, TX O-2
  • 1976-78: 63rd TFS, MacDill AFB, FL F-4 C/D/E)

Awards & Decorations

Flight Info

Military Education

  • Command & Staff 1977-8

Civilian Education

  • BS Electrical Engineering (LSU 57)
  • MS System Mgt (USC 74)