Today in History – June 13, 1965/1967 – Capt. Ed Gallardo is recovered, 1st Lt James Lee Cumiskey is KIA, .

13 June 1965 – Capt Edward F. Gallardo ejected from F-100 #553600 after being hit by small arms fire and was recovered. It all happened in 16 terrible minutes. In that incredible fraction of an hour, a U.S. Air Force pilot napalm-bombed a target, his plane caught fire, he bailed out, landed in enemy territory and was plucked to safety by a passing Army helicopter.

The fighter pilot’s battle ordeal came on a recent Sunday when he had to skip morning religious services because of an early mission. The mission was his 35th in some 40 days. “I was first of our flight in on the target, some Viet Cong emplacements 42 miles south of here,” said Gallardo. “I came in fast at 50 to 100 feet above the ground. “I pushed what we call the pickle button to release the napalm cans. Immediately there was a loud explosion, and the cockpit filled with ‘smoke. I didn’t know whether I had been hit by ground fire, or something had gone wrong with the napalm. “But I couldn’t see out. My plane was on fire.” Instinctively, he put the plane into a climb.

For the rest of Ed’s Caterpillar story go to

13 June 1967 – While flying F-100D #553600, James L. Cumiskey was hit by 23mm AAA over Pleiku.

James was born on December 27, 1941, and lived in Claremore, OK. He had enlisted in the Air Force. and entered via Reserve Military. He began his tour on September 16, 1966, and was serving with the  308th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 31st Tactical Fighter Wing, 7th Air Force at the time of the incident.

Cumiskey experienced a traumatic event that recorded circumstances attributed to: “Died through hostile action, air crash on land”.

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