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Rivet Ball

Fifty-two years ago, in the early hours of January 13th, 1969 I was forced to accept something that I had known for a while, but had pushed to the back of my mind: I was mortal and was going to die.

This was the first of several incidents when my chance of survival was a good deal less than 1 in 2. This wasn’t the scariest, but it was the first, and following on the heels of the terrible events of 1968, it had the biggest impact.

In the end the only “death” was an airplane, Rivet Ball, the Air Force’s only RC-135S. The military version of the Boeing 707, the fuselage broke in half, like an eggshell, on impact. A very talented pilot, John Achor, the aircraft commander, was responsible for that miracle.

I provide more detail on my other site.

3 comments

1 Jeffrey Lincourt { 01.20.21 at 5:15 pm }

Good story. Reminds me of one my Dad had.

2 Kryten42 { 01.21.21 at 12:50 am }

Every time you post this Bryan… I think some variation of “Geez! And I though I was lucky to survive!”

Maybe there is some kind of ancestral spirit watching over us. 🤔🙄

Well… Have you breathed a good sigh of relief? Today would be a good day for that. Good luck to all decent American’s & my friends in the USA. You all deserve a break! 👍😊

3 Bryan { 01.21.21 at 7:06 pm }

I don’t know, Jeff, but I would suspect that dealing with chemical weapons could occasionally get “interesting” 😉

You get used to it after a while, Kryten, so you can do you job, but it can haunt you after you leave “the business”. I couldn’t have put up with your working environment – the insects, reptiles, large carnivores in addition to the enemy in the heat and humidity. I was so happy not to be in Army or Marines as they had to live in that world, like you did. Most of the time I could fly over it and chill beer against the outer skin of the aircraft. 😈

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