Profile Photo
Greg Kittinger
115 articles

T-38 Talon (White Rocket)

October 10, 2018 · in Aviation · · 6 Comments
This article is part of a series:
  1. F-100 Super Sabre (The Hun)
  2. F-101 Voodoo (the One-Oh-Wonder)
  3. 1/1 RF-4C
  4. F-105 Thunderchief (Thud) – 1/1
  5. F-4 C/D Phantom II (Rhino)
  6. T-38 Talon (White Rocket)
  7. Assorted Cold War Warriors – 1/1
  8. F-4C, Cam Ranh Bay, S. Vietnam
  9. Pilot’s Last Flight

I'm saving the post for last, so skipping ahead in sequence to post-Vietnam. Dad was posted to the Air Force Academy as his next billing, but the only reason he joined the air force was to fly (he had his pilot's license before he had his driver's license). Even while stationed at the Air War College in Montgomery, AL for 5 years, he wrangled a job as a "taxi pilot" flying VIP's around in the T-39, so out of 20 years in the Air Force, he flew for almost 19 of them. Only his last posting to Thailand with the 432nd Tactical Fighter/Recon Wing (May - Dec 1975, where he road in the air command model in the back of a C-130), and for his last year at Keesler AFB, MS, where he trained in the same command modules that were inserted into the C-130, was he not in the pilot seat on a regular basis.

Anyway - back to the story. I loved Colorado Springs, but only got to enjoy the snow and mountains for three months, as dad wrangled an assignment as an instructor pilot in the . He just couldn't fly a desk. We moved from the Springs to Mexico Beach, FL, so dad could learn to be an IP in the (Jan-Mar, 1968, Tyndale AFB, with the 3617th Pilot Training Squadron).

Then on to what was to be our home for the next 3 years - Craig AFB near Selma, AL. Dad was an IP with the 3615 Pilot Training Squadron. The base had both Talons and Tweets (T-37), and man, what a difference between the two! From there we went to Montgomery (Prattville) AL, to the Air War College for 5 years, then Thailand, Keesler, and retirement.

I don't have any pics of the T-39's. I assume he never would have been formation flying so obviously no air-to-air opportunities, and it probably would have made the VIP's nervous to see their chauffeur looking out the window with his eye glued to a camera!

6 additional images. Click to enlarge.

6 responses

  1. ...and the hits jus' keep on comin'...thanks again.

  2. Greg: I am enjoying all the stories of your dad, and his adventures while a USAF pilot. How exciting it was for you to have followed along as your dad travelled, while serving his country. It has been great that you have been able to pass along your dad's story to us using Imodeler as a platform.

    FYI, according to the Weather Channel, Mexico Beach, Florida, just got hammered by Hurricane Michael. Lots of devastation down on the Gulf Coast right now.

    Thanks again, Greg.

  3. well you've got to keep flying to keep that flight pay coming least once a month...great series

  4. Greg, many of these planes only existed for me as plastic versions built by others. I am now just so excited at the thought of each successive post!

  5. Again, amazing shots, Greg!

Leave a Reply