Merrill McPeak followed his initial Air Force F-104 and F-100 flying assignments as a member of the Air Force Thunderbirds aerial demonstration team, performing in 200 airshows. He then went to Vietnam, and became the commander of the famed Misty FAC (Forward Air Controller) squadron.
After Vietnam, he went to Armed Forces Staff College, then to the Pentagon, and had a host of other assignments that eventually led to his becoming the Chief of Staff of the Air Force. In this podcast, General McPeak recounts a fascinating story of his Air Force career, which started with his notaccepting a Regular commission, since he had no intention of making the Air Force a career!
He also describes his crash during an airshow, when the wings separated from his F-100 as he was pulling up for the “bomb-burst” show finale, at just under the speed of sound.
In this interview General McPeak also talks about his return to Southeast Asia with his sons, to see the Ho Chi Minh trail from the ground.