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
Michael Willard Stover
“While in my Junior year of college I enlisted in the 122 TFG at Fort Wayne, IN with 19 other college guys to go to pilot training. I went to Basic Training at Amarillo AFB, TX in AUG/SEP 1966 and upon graduation was assigned to the 122nd Supply Sqdn, 122 TFG Fort Wayne for duty. In February 1966 I was commissioned 2LT and left for Pilot Training at Williams AFB, Chandler, AZ in April 1967. After completion of UPT in May of 1968 I spent 90 days on EAD transitioning into the Republic F-84F. Transition into the North American F-100D/F was completed at home station Fort Wayne in 1971. Transition into the F-4 was completed at Luke AFB, AZ in 1979.
I worked as a civilian throughout my career flying nights, weekends, summer camps and deployments whenever possible. Managed to accumulate 2797 hours during my 21 and a half years of service.
Married Linda Barna in October 1966 and still going.
Three children, all boys. The middle son is a full timer in the ANG at Rickenbacker Joint Base, Columbus, OH and just passed 20 years of service including 5 deployments to Saudi, Iraq and Afghanistan.
I retired from the Indiana Air National Guard and USAF in November 1987.”