Behind the Wings ®
The Podcast – S3, Episode 24

In today’s episode of The Behind the Wings® Podcast, explore the pivotal role of aviation in the Vietnam War alongside former USAF Chief of Staff General Ron R. Fogleman (Ret). Hear about the courageous feats of pilots as we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of the war. 

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Join us as we talk with Gen. Ron Fogleman, USAF (Ret), who takes us along his personal journey to becoming Chief of Staff and helps us uncover the strategic importance of aircraft during the Vietnam War. Ron has over 8,500 hours of flight time, including 315 combat missions where he logged 806 hours. During one of those missions, he was shot down while flying the F-100 Super Sabre and was rescued by clinging to the side of an AH-1 Cobra. Ron retired as Chief of Staff in 1997, after 34 years in the Air Force. He shares with us his pathway to becoming Chief of Staff, lessons he’s learned from the cockpit, and insight about aviation during the Vietnam War. THIS is going to be cool!

Key Takeaways:
  • USAF General Ron Fogleman (Ret) served for 34 years before retirement, holding positions such as Fighter Pilot, Commander of the Air Mobility Command, Deputy Commander in Chief, Chief of Staff, and more.
  • Ron graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1963, and later became the first graduate to advance to Air Force Chief of Staff.
  • Ron flew the F-100 Super Sabre in Vietnam as a Misty Forward Air Controller (FAC). Forward Air Controllers during the war acted as close air support for troops on the ground, helping with aerial defense, rescues, patrols, and more.
  • Vietnam was the first war where helicopters played a pivotal role. The AH-1 Cobra was invented during this time, and was one of the first gunships to be used in Vietnam. Other helicopters acted as troop transport, medical evacuation, and more.
  • Ron was shot down while flying a mission in his F-100. He was rescued by an AH-1 Cobra by clinging to the side of the helicopter. At the time, the Cobra was prohibited from landing anywhere in enemy territory. Luckily, the pilots did not face any disciplinary action for their heroism.
  • As Chief of Staff in 1995, Ron created the Air Force Core Values, “Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence In All We Do.” These values are still in use today.
  • From 1974-1975, Ron was stationed at Lowry Air Force base. The same hangar our museum uses today!
Behind the Wings Season 4

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Behind the Wings Season 4

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