Gen Richard Secord who, in August 1961, joined what would become the 1st Air Commando Wing. Secord flew over 200 combat missions in Vietnam flying the T-28. He is joined joined by Dick Welch Raven, 41. The Ravens were American forward air-controllers who directed strikes from vulnerable, low-flying spotter planes. Sometimes referred to as a secret unit of brave/crazy US fighter pilots, the government was so scared of them being found out, they flew in their own clothes and carried poison to swallow if they were captured. From 1961-75 the CIA ran a secret war in Laos, using Hmong tribesmen and covert U.S. Air Force air support. They were part of the clandestine war in Southeast Asia. The Air America Pilots were deeply entwined with the CIA - U.S. Military during the 60's and 70's during the SEA war.
Ken Fardie’s beautiful North American Trojan T-28 “Sherry Berry” is the backdrop for this presentation. Ken purchased his T-28 in 2007. Since then he has purchased a WWII British Spitfire Mk 26b. He flies both planes in various airshows around the country. The T-28 is a carrier based aircraft carrying the colors of the 1st Air Division, South Vietnam Air Force. She carries two 50 caliber machine guns which fire during airshows and two, seven rocket, rocket pods one under each wing. She will fly over 300 knots or 350 mph to an altitude of 38,000 ft. She was a fighter-bomber in the Vietnam Conflict.