Blogs by Rep Bob Lynn

Blog site of Representative Bob Lynn, Alaska House of Representatives,District 31 Anchorage, Alaska. Blogs consist of public comments during legislative sessions, speeches, political commentary, as well as personal observations, and some journal type entries. Comments are invited.

Location: Anchorage, Alaska, United States

Member of the Alaska State House of Represeentatives since 2003. US Air Force, Retired; military bandsman; F94C interceptor pilot; Vietnam service as radar controller (Monkey Mountain), radar site commander(Pleiku); Government Contract Management; Public school Teacher, Retired. Married 55 years to Marlene Wagner Lynn, 6 children, 20 grandchildren, 1 great-grandchild. Member St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton Church. Former Tucson Arizona policeman, Ambulance Driver and Mortician's Assistant, Realtor (currently on referral status).

Sunday, July 02, 2006


My phone rang today, and a familiar voice asked, “Is this Collins 23”? And I answered “Rodge.” The call was from “Grover” (Manfred R. Groves), one of my oldest friends. He lives in Hampton, Virginia. “Collins 23” was my individual radio callsign when I flew the F94C Starfire interceptor jet out of Langley AFB, Virginia during the early fifties. Grover was one of my Radar Observers (R.O.) and he was the “GIB” (Guy in Back) who worked the radar to guide me to intercept unknown aircraft out over the Atlantic Ocean. We were both Second Lieutenants assigned to the 48th Fighter Interceptor Squadron.
The F94C was the first operational supersonic interceptor in the Air Force inventory. Unfortunately, you had to fly straight down to go supersonic! Obviously, that made it dangerous to fly supersonic for extended periods of time (think about that). The official name of the bird was the Starfire, but we all called it the “Banana Boat." I don’t know why. When Grover and I first flew together in those exciting days of yesteryear (1953). I was only 20 years old, and Grover was 24. He’s now 77 (Do the math. I know you will).

When Grover decided to marry Marylou in Virginia, I’m the one he asked to help him write the “Dear John” letter to his old girl friend. Grover tells me he hasn’t heard from her since. I hope she doesn’t read this blog, and decide to come after me. Good Heavens - I hope the forsaken lady didn't happen to move to Alaska and discovers she's one my constituents (so much for that vote!).

Grover and I re-told our shared “war stories,” as old veterans and fliers are wont to do. It was like all those adventures occurred yesterday. Won’t bore you with the stories here - as the saying goes, you’d have to have been there to understand.

Sometime after we had parted in our shared assignment at Langley AFB, Grover told me he was in the back seat of a F101 interceptor attempting to land at Otis AFB in Massachusetts. The weather was extremely bad (read unsafe) – 50 ft ceiling and barely ¼ viability, but approach control cleared his F101 in to land anyway. Turns out the next plane to land was Air Force One, with President John F. Kennedy on board. Apparently, approach control had used Grover’s plane as a “guinea pig” to see if the weather was good enough for the president to land. That’s the kind of stuff you’ll not find in a history book.


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