By Joe Kittinger
Many years after his free up from a North Vietnamese prisoner-of-war camp in 1973 Colonel Joseph Kittinger retired from the Air strength. stressed and unchallenged, he became to ballooning, a life-long ardour in addition to a relentless diversion for his mind's eye in the course of his imprisonment. His basic aim was once a solitary circumnavigation of the globe, and in its pursuit he set a number of ballooning distance documents, together with the 1st solo crossing of the Atlantic in 1984. however the aeronautical feats that first made him an American hero had happened 1 / 4 of a century past. by the point Kittinger used to be shot down in Vietnam in 1972, his Air strength occupation used to be already mythical. He had made a reputation for himself at Holloman Air strength base close to Alamagordo, New Mexico, as a try out pilot who helped show that egress survival for pilots at excessive altitudes used to be attainable in emergency occasions. sarcastically, Kittinger and his pre-astronaut colleagues may support propel american citizens into area utilizing the world's oldest flying desktop - the balloon. Kittinger's paintings on undertaking Excelsior - which concerned bold high-altitude bailout checks - earned him the celebrated Flying pass lengthy sooner than he earned a suite of medals in Vietnam. regardless of the numerous accolades, Kittinger's proudest second continues to be his unfastened fall from 102,800 ft within which he accomplished a velocity of 614 miles consistent with hour. during this long-awaited autobiography, Kittinger joins writer Craig Ryan to rfile an remarkable profession.
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Additional info for Come Up and Get Me: An Autobiography of Colonel Joseph Kittinger
The Berlin Airlift had just ended that summer, and the Russians were belligerent. As part of our combat-alert status, we kept four F-47s stationed at Rhein-Main Air Base near Frankfurt, ready to be scrambled to meet any threat. At one of our morning squadron meetings, we were asked for volunteers to go to Rhein-Main to sit alert for a week. My buddy Milton Byron and I jumped at the chance. We were always eager for anything that would get us more flying time. We flew up to Rhein-Main in two elements, ours led by Capt.
We hit the clouds, and Govan announced that he’d be deviating 15 degrees as we’d been briefed. This was the first time that I had ever been on the wing in actual instrument flight conditions—no visibility—and I’m sure it was the same for Milt. Doak, however, had four formation instrument climb-outs under his belt. Shortly after Capt. Starnick entered the clouds, it felt to me as if he did a left barrel roll into me. I knew that I was experiencing some vertigo. ) Anyway, I decided that if he wanted to roll, I’d roll with him.
She pushed us to join the Boy Scouts, too, but for me there was nothing quite like the river. My river. Lamb Savage’s was where it all happened. Lamb himself was a fourth-generation Florida cracker who lived off the land much as his forefathers had. 22 rifle, caught alligators, turtles, and fish, and grew his own vegetables on the rich bottomland along the riverbank. Old Lamb didn’t own a car or a truck, but once a year he’d convince a friend to haul him over to the Atlantic coast to get his year’s supply of sea salt.