27 September 1968 – Kuldar “Koot” Visnapuu was serving with the 174th TFS Phu Cat “Bats” in Vietnam. Lt. Kuldar Visnapuu’s had just taken off from a base in South Vietnam when his Supersabre was hit by enemy fire. He turned the plane toward the South China Sea and ejected safely, watching as his jet
Darrell D. Simmonds
“Capt. Dee Simmonds and Lt. George McKinney, both retired lieutenant colonels, were members of the 435th Tactical Fighter Squadron, now the 435th Fighter Training Squadron here at JBSA-Randolph, when they became the first F-4 Phantom crew to shoot down two MiG-21 aircraft on a single mission Nov. 6, 1967.
“It’s not just you, it’s all the resources that you have working for you,” Simmonds said, reminding the group that you don’t achieve success on your own.
“It was the people and resources behind you that helped you get there,” Simmonds said. “When we got done we talked to the whole maintenance group and told them ‘you guys are a part of this.”
McKinney was 23-years-old and 14 months from getting qualified as a pilot when he volunteered from training to go to war.
“Don’t ever forget who packed your parachute, that can be the man or lady on the line, it can be your significant other, you wingman, it can be your squadron commander, it can be anybody,” McKinney said.”(1)