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).

Monday, October 04, 2010


Attended my 48th Fighter Interceptor Squadron 2010 Reunion at Dayton, Ohio. We had a blast: 48th FIS fighter pilots of the geezer variety comporting in military comradeship with young bright eyed 48th Squadron pilot weenies of the today’s 48th Squadron (both gentlemen and good looking lady officers).

In 1953, our Air Force had three interceptors in its Air Defense Command: the F89J Scorpion, the F86D (called the F86Dog), and the F94C Starfire. In 1953 I flew the F94C Starfire jet (we called it the “Banana Boat) as a proud member of the 48th FIS. I was 20 years old, and only three years out of high school.

The 94C was the Air Force’s first operational supersonic airplane – but you had to go straight down to achieve that speed. Obviously, that angle of flight limited the amount time of we could maintain supersonic super sonic speed.

The F94C was a two-place aircraft: pilot in the front, radar observer (RO) in the rear (or the “GIB” - meaning the “guy in the back”). My usual radar observers and good friends were Jim Faries, Jean Adams, and Manford R. Groves (“Grover”). We spent a lot of time together fifty-three years ago training and scrambling on intercept missions out of Langley Air Force Base, Virginia. It was during the latter stages of the Korean conflict. We like to say we defended American from North Korea – from Virginia.

Great news! Grover, my RO friend and compatriot, was at the 48th FIS reunion. Hadn’t seen him in decades (he’s gotten older). When Grover’s and my turn came to share flying stories at the reunion, we told some good ones. And they were true. Like buzzing below the Wright Brothers Memorial at Kitty Hawk, flying just a few feet over the beach of the Carolina Outer banks and lighting the F94C afterburner just above surf fishermen, barrel rolls around Navy balloons near Norfolk, and more I shan’t share here. In other words, adolescent flying behavior I wouldn’t think of doing now!

It was fun at the reunion watching “oldster” pilots teaching “youngster” 48th pilots how to be “Tasmanian Devil Instructors,” by screaming and making faces inches from each other. The Tasmanian Devil is the 48th mascot (see cartoon).

Some Russian fighter pilots happened to be at the same hotel, near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. I’m told (I’d already gone to my room. It's true. If you can't trust a politician, whom can you trust?)) some vodka was consumed while American pilots demonstrated Tasmanian Devil antics in the face of the Russians – and the Russian pilots returned the behavior in kind. Actual war was not declared.

There’s wonderful but indescribable comradeship among the military: active duty, retired, veteran. It’s kind of “been there, done that, and we understand.” There is a somewhat similar comradeship I felt when I was a cop in Tucson, Arizona. There’s collegiality among legislators, regardless of political party, and that’s good. But it’s not the same military and police comradeship.Our next 48th Squadron reunion is scheduled to be in Columbus, Mississippi. Hope I can make it.

Photos show my RO Manford R "Grover" Groves and I shaking hands, me as a youthful Air Force pilot, my standing by my F94C at the Alert Hanger, the 48th Fighter Squadron we placed at the Air Force Museum memorial park, our reunion group, and the Tasmanian Devil figure.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Bob,
I am duly impressed with your already having been a fighter pilot at the age of 20. America's former president Bush senior had also been a young pilot during WW II. If I remember correctly he was the youngest combat pilot in the US Navy at the time. When he was shot down, bailed out and was rescued by a sub, the men of his aircraft were all killed. Not only that, but some the other members of his unit who managed to bail out of their planes on that mission were captured by the Japanese enemy. The Japanese officers later executed their American prisoners and even ate some of their body parts in canbalistic rituals. Bush senior could have remained in college. He was from an affluent family and could have easily dodged the draft. No! Not him! He was from the old school just like you, Bob Lynn. He would have been ashamed to have stayed at home while others from the working class risked their lives for his freedom.
Sometimes they made fun of Bush senior's son for "only" having been a jet fighter pilot in the National Guard during the Vietnam War, however it takes a lot of guts to fly a fighter plane. Most of the so called men who made fun of America's recent president would have pissed their pants in fear just as a passenger on such a fighter plane as you flew as a 20 year old. In my opinion you can be proud of yourself, Bob Lynn!

3:52 PM  
Anonymous Budintx said...

Bud in TX: As far as I am concerned Geo W. Bush was a great govenor, a fine president and an ethical man. He did serve in the ANG as a fighter pilot and no one can take anything away from him for that. But as a SEA combat veteran myself I do wish he he had served in SEA during the Vietnam War. That would have taken the wind out of the sails of his critics who made much ado about John Kerry's service--not so great as it turned out.

3:08 PM  

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