I had about 1500 hours and 264 combat missions in the F-100 and around 3500 hours in the A-7. While at Albuquerque, I also flew the C-131 for about 2000 hours. Ahhh recips. Nothing sounds as good as that.
After all this fun, I joined Continental airlines for 17 years. I flew as a crew member on the Boeing 727, 737-100/-200/-300/,-500/-600/-700/-800/-900. I also flew the DC-10, Boeing 757 and Boeing 777. I was a second officer, first officer, and captain.
I flew out of Newark on the morning of Sept 11, 2001. Now that is something I will never forget.
I retired in Aug 2004 and now live in Savannah, TN. I own a small farm and hope to be there till the good Lord calls me home. I couldn’t give up flying so I got a Long EZ and it is a hoot to fly.
My most famous photo….appears 4 times in Combat Aircraft Magazine Jun/Jul 2007 issue. Also, it was the “Mr. July” photo in our SSS calendar. Since they are not producing another calendar I guess I will forever be Mr. July.
Jerry’s Bio from Amazon: Born in August 1944 before the end of WWII Jerry was always fascinated by rumors of peace and prosperity. Unfortunately, he had siblings and cousins that constantly cracked him on the head and stole his allowance. He entered elementary school (called grade school in the old days) and soon found many friends that also cracked him on the head and stole his money. He led a life of poverty so severe he couldn’t even afford a camera to take pictures of his measly existence. He survived by eating beans and potatoes and cornbread nearly every meal.
Finally, he entered Valley High School and soon rose to the top of his class (well, pretty close as VP) and prospered by using all the techniques used on him to crack heads and steal the money of his classmates. College during the ’60s was a learning experience. Mostly he learned he didn’t want to work all his life so upon graduation he joined the USAF and became the (self-proclaimed) world’s greatest fighter pilot.
After a year’s vacation in Vietnam and three years in England, he settled in Albuquerque, NM where he continued to fly fighter planes for the New Mexico Air National Guard and owned a couple of businesses. He became a real estate tycoon (i.e. slum lord) and finally went to work for Continental Airlines as a pilot, retiring in 2004 with over 15,000 hours of flying time. He now is a land baron (30 acres) and lives on his estate near Savannah, Tn. with his second wife and two dogs. Unfortunately, the current wife cracks him on the head and takes his money. Some things in life never change…….
- 10/1966-10/1967, Class 68C Reese AFB, TX
- 1/1968-6/1968, 522nd Tactical Fighter Squadron, Cannon AFB, NM for F-100 upgrade (F-100D)
- 8/1968-8/1969, 308thTactical Fighter Squadron, Tuy Hoa AB, Vietnam (F-100)
- 9/1969-9/1972, 492nd Tactical Fighter Squadron, RAF Lakenheath, UK (F-100)
- End of Active Duty
- 2/1973-6/1989, New Mexico Air National Guard (F-100C, A-7D)
- 1/1990-2/1992, 75th MAC (liaison to the Army Reserves) Houston, TX
Awards & Decorations
Air Medal with 14 Oak Leaf Clusters
Distinguished Flying Cross (2)
Silver Star with Palm (Vietnamese Government)
Vietnam Service Award
Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm
Small Arms Marksmanship
PACAF Able Aeronaut
Military & Civilian Education
- Pilot training
- F-100 upgrade
- Command and Staff , plus all the survival schools.
- Also, forward air controller school at Hurlburt Field, fighter weapons school, Tucson Air Guard (A-7)
- 1966 BS/Biology, University of Louisville
From a poor boy in Kentucky to a fighter pilot in the USAF to an airline Captain this book travels with the author over a lifetime of adventure. As a Vietnam War fighter pilot, Jerry Key tells of his better war missions in the F-100 fighter plane. Several of his 264 missions will bring you to the edge of your seat. Later as a Continental Airlines Capt, he relates humorous tales of his routine and not so routine daily travels around the world. After his retirement, a travelogue around America in an RV Motorhome shows what a great country we live in. Now settled on a farm in Tennessee he tells of his life after retirement.