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MAKO69

10 MAY 1972

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Unfortunately, this date also marks the anniversary of the death of Major Lodge in one of the air battles from that day.

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Seems like he could have ejected, but chose to ride it in, due to his knowledge about Combat Tree.

His GIB (Roger Locher) was rescued, and what a rescue-ordeal that turned out to become!

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That day, Lt Randy 'Duke' Cunningham, VF-96, emerged as the first US ace pilot since the Korean War. He also ended the hectic day proving his worth as a competition swimmer when his F-4 turned into a one-way submarine. He just missed out by little on the Medal Of Honor, yet became the incarnation of the American hero America missed so much in those days. Later, he became a very unpleasant Congressman, and the incarnation of the crooked politician, and deserved every minute of his jail term. Wartime can reveal how much some people can be extraordinary, while return to peace later reveals how actually the same war heroes can finally be very, very common men. See 'Pappy' Boyington...

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Cunningham was a good, very determined pilot with a very eager attitude. All that made him a great fighter-pilot (though one might argue that he was over-zealous and his carelessness caused his SAM-hit).

 

What some people have reported about him, though, also makes it pretty clear that he also was full of crap. His whole "Col. Tomb/ Toon" story was completely made-up.

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