Desert Storm

I’m going out on a limb and posting my first F-117 story from Desert Storm.

This is no shit.

I was taking my turn as NCOIC of the EOR.  For civilians and Nonners, this means I was in charge of the End of Runway Crew.  EOR is where we get one last look at the jet before it takes off.

So as night began to fall, we were in one van and the Saudi EOR crew were in theirs. Four Saudi F-15’s come back and are de-armed and sent back to their shelters. Then it got dark.  We work in the dark, the Saudis were afraid of the dark.  They had a huge light tower that they turned on.  This was No Bueno for us because we had airplanes coming out to launch.  I told Ken* to go turn off the lights.  He did.  As soon as he did, the Saudis came scurrying out to turn it back on.  I sent Ken* back out and he turns them off a second time.  By the time he gets back into the truck, the lights are back on.  I handed him a pair of dykes and said, “Make sure that damn thing doesn’t turn on again.  He gleefully runs out there again.  Snip, snip, snip.  No more lights

Problem solved.

This gives you an idea of our set up.

Our planes show.  We look them over and they leave.  But there is a problem.  One jet is missing.

Shortly thereafter, another set of F-15’s come back.  The Saudi’s, with flashlights, de-arm them and send them on their way.

 

 

Saudi F-15

 

We’re Comm out so I can’t call to ask what’s happening so we wait.  As we’re looking down the taxi way looking for our jet.  It finally appears. At the other end of the revetment.  Coming out of the desert.  Popping a wheelie with dirt and dust flying off the main tires.

HOLY SWEET MOTHER OF GOD!

It was really quite a sight.

We all run down to that end and I plug into the intercom system.

Me: “What the fuck?”

Pilot*: “GOD DAMNED RAG HEAD RAN ME OFF THE ROAD!”

Pilot*: (meekly) “Am I all right?”

ME: “Yes sir.  You’re good to go.  Good Bye and Good Hunting”

*Name changed to protect the guilty.

 

Unexpected Guest

I was the dedicated crew chief of “Unexpected Guest”. On the first night of Desert Storm I painted a bomb on the bomb door to celebrate a successful mission. The next day, I was in the Captain’s office trying to explain why I defaced 56 million dollars of government property. “We’re a young service, sir.” I said. “This is one of the few traditions the Air Force has.” This is how I became the NCOIC of mission marks for the squadron. If you see historical pictures of our return to Nellis, the mission marks under the cockpits are there because I put them there.

Here’s some of my handiwork.

Many crew chiefs decorated their aircraft with door art. These are just a few. The crew chief, pilot and squadron commander all had to agree to the artwork. Album covers were popular. Ghosts and skulls abounded. And of course, girls were a theme. “Mystic Warrior” was unique because Gina was the dedicated crew chief for the jet. She was the artist of the door art AND Gina was the model. We’ve come a long way since World War Two.  She also handed out blowjobs to the pilots if they didn’t break her jet. I helped her park the jet one night and saw the transaction, first hand.  Later I was told to volunteer for “Drag Chute Duty” it was a sucky job, picking up all the dropped drag chutes. It wound up being Gina and I alone in the van.  Let’s just say that piles of deployed drag chutes are really comfy. 

 

Here’s Gina!

Ken Rankin was the artist for “Avenging Angel” and “Warpig”. I watched him do them and even helped on “Avenging Angel”. The idea for “Unexpected Guest” came from my assistant, Sid and the art was done by a refuel truck driver. At first I didn’t like it but grew to love it. Especially because everyone said that Beetlejuice looked like me and Sid.

That’s me.

 

 

MORE NOSE ART HERE