52-Charlie: Members of a Legendary Pilot Training
Course Share Their Stories about Combat in Korea and Vietnam
Paperback, 6x9 in, 308 pages, Illustrated
Wheatmark, April 2009
420 members of the aviation cadet class of 52-Charlie received
their wings in May of 1952. Some transitioned into jet fighters,
some into multi-engine aircraft. Most members of this famous class
flew combat missions in Korea or Vietnam, or both. Their stories,
recounted within, are stories of bravery and sacrifice, and are
sometimes tragic, often humorous, and always dedicated.
Quinn Fuller was shot down on his first combat mission. Wounded
and bleeding, he was picked up by a chopper under heavy fire. He
returned to his base and flew an additional ninety-nine
Dick Spaulding’s oxygen system failed and he was forced to
fly for more than thirty minutes over North Korea while slipping in
and out of consciousness.
Ralph Mackey, a bombardier and later a member of 52-Charlie,
watched from another aircraft as his crew was shot down over
Germany in WWII.
General Jim McDivitt defied death in Korea and again at Edwards
Air Force Base as a test pilot, before donning a space suit and
flying missions in the Gemini and Apollo programs.