Joe’s father served in World War 2 in the USAF. His service inspired Joe to try and join the USAF or the Naval Air Force despite having no flying experience.
It’s the aftermath of the Vietnam War so forces are being reduced, however with the arrival of a new President, Ronald Reagan, defence spending grows and provides Joe with an opportunity to start pilot training with the USAF.
He eventually ends up flying the A10. The A-10 was first in service in 1976 and was designed to provide close air support to ground troops by attacking armoured vehicles, tanks, and other enemy ground forces.
Joe describes what makes the A10 special as well as his training and initial deployment in the A10 in Alaska. You get a real pilot’s eye view of flying the plane including navigation techniques and the challenges of flying low level.
Part two is here https://coldwarconversations.com/episode306/ where Joe is sent to 92nd Fighter Squadron at RAF Bentwaters in the UK, just over 50 miles from where his father served in World War 2.
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