June 20, 2012
INTO THE JAWS OF THE DRAGON!
Ho Chi Minh’s Backyard!
|Join us on Wednesday evening June 20th to share Gerald Finton’s exciting account of the extreme low level attack against the Thai Nguyen Steel Mills and North Viet Nam which is the essence of what flying a jet fighter in combat is all about! He describes in vivid detail what it was like to go into combat, the excitement of living at that incredible pace and how someone adjusts to civilian life afterward. He currently participates at the Pacific Coast Air Museum’s “Wings Over Wine Country” air show each year, standing alongside the Museum’s one F-4 Phantom which ironically, was one of the very planes flown by Gerald during his tour of duty in the Viet Nam war!
Gerald’s presentation is an exciting reflection on what the war was like from a participant’s viewpoint and what it was like to fly a high performance jet fighter into a battle zone!
After arriving at Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base in Thailand, Gerald would spend the next 9 months flying for the 433rd Tactical Fighter Squadron and the famous 8th Tac Fighter Wing “Wolf Pack” into North Viet Nam and Laos. On March 30th Gerald was one of three aircraft that participated in the now famous slashing low-level attack against the Thai Nguyen Steel Mills led by the legendary Robin Olds!
Gerald Finton was commissioned a 2nd Lt when he graduated from Bradley University in 1961. In 1966, Gerald graduated as a rated pilot from Vance AFB in Oklahoma, and was assigned to F-4s with the Pacific Air Force (PACAF) in South East Asia. Gerald left the Air Force in 1974 to settle in Petaluma, California with his family.
The Community Voice, a Rohnert Park regional newspaper, recently published (Sep 2, 2010) an article about Gerald and his connection to that aircraft. Gerald also was one of the featured speakers in “The Viet Nam Experience” program presented by the Petaluma Museum last year (Nov 20, 2010). He is mentioned and is one of the contributors in the book about Robin Olds, “Fighter Pilot, The Memoirs of the Legendary Ace, Robin Olds”, by his daughter, Christina Olds!
Gerald is also featured in the soon to be published “An Airman’s Story” by Leon DeLisle of the “An Airman’s Story Foundation, Inc”, a collection of experiences of military pilots from WWII to the present.
Location:Mesa Beverage Company, Inc.
3200 N. Laughlin Road. Santa Rosa, CA
Directions: From Santa Rosa, take Highway 101 North and exit at Airport Blvd. Turn left on Laughlin Road toward the museum. The Mesa building is located on the left side of the street just past the museum and Nob Hill south gate.
|July 18||Einar Enevoldson, Founder and Chairman of the Board – The Perlan Project which is building a sailplane that will reach 90,000 feet.|