Col. Day had 5000 hours in his log book, and 4500 of them in fighters before he volunteered for combt duty in Vietnam. He stood up the first “Fast FAC” squadron to fly high risk forward air control missions, and was shot down on his 65th sortie up north. Badly injured in the ejection, he nevertheless managed to evade his captors and cross the DMZ back in to South Vietnam, becoming the only American POW to escape from North Vietnam. Recaptured by Viet Kong just miles from a US base, Col. Day spent five years and seven months as a guest of the Hanoi regime, who broke his body but not his spirit.
He is the only person ever to have been awarded both the Medal of Honor and the Air Force Cross.
I hope you enjoyed the flight, colonel. And a tip o’ the tam to the Collings Foundation for setting it up.