Skip to comments.Outspoken, revered Vietnam fighter pilot Jack Broughton dies at 89
Posted on 11/02/2014 3:14:47 AM PST by Timber Rattler
As a combat pilot, Air Force Col. Jack Broughton was celebrated for bravery and tactical brilliance during the Korean and Vietnam wars. He received promotions and important assignments and seemed headed to become a general.
But a high-profile court-martial during the Vietnam War for allegedly violating the rules of engagement that ruled certain targets off limits ended his career.
After leaving the Air Force, Broughton was free to speak out about what he saw as the incompetence of President Lyndon Johnson and Defense Secretary Robert McNamara in micromanaging the war. Pilots couldn't bomb an enemy outhouse without their approval, Broughton once complained.
In a modern era where political and military objectives are intermixed, Broughton was "something of an anachronism. A swashbuckling skyjock of the old school, he wanted nothing more than to roll out his fighter jet every day and 'go to work,'" David Gelman, who covered the Vietnam War for Newsday, wrote in his review of "Going Downtown."
In June 1967, as the war intensified, a pilot under Broughton's command told him that he may have fired at a Soviet freighter in the North Vietnamese port of Cam Pha while attacking an anti-aircraft site. The Soviet Union complained bitterly to Washington.
To protect his pilots from criticism by civilian and military officials far removed from the realities of the war, Broughton ordered the destruction of the gun-camera film so that no evidence could exist.
"It seemed to be that the whole world was out of focus," Broughton later wrote. "Old friends were turning against us and common sense was not to be found."
(Excerpt) Read more at stripes.com ...
God bless him and keep him. He was what Americans should always be.
Without our military what would we be?
That Soviet freighter probably brought weapons.
The beginning of the end of America’s ability to actually win wars.
In a twist of irony, the USAF sent my Father, a SMSGT, back to the states and reassigned him as Superintendent of the Sheppard AFB photo lab.
Is that where they got the Idea for “the flight of the intruder”?
And he had Chuck Yeagar as a defender. Two real men who were bad asses.
Since we now know Russian pilots flew against us in Korea, why wouldn’t they have done so in Vietnam?
They at least trained the North Vietnamese, who wanted nothing to do with Red China following 1,000 years of Chinese occupation.
Col. Broughton wasn’t the only Vietnam vet whose hatred of LBJ only grows as time goes on, if you get my drift.
See Korea and MacArthur.
Great story! Thanks for posting.
Is that where they got the Idea for the flight of the intruder?
"Intruder" was set in the Navy (I know the pilot who was the inspiration for "Intruder") and his feelings about what happened match Broughtons.
If you haven’t already read it...”Fighter Pilot” is a great book about another great flier, Robin Olds.
Thank you for this unfortunately sad notification. May he rest in peace.
LOL I thought you posted to the wrong thread but after sharing this article with friends of mine who have the facebook page “Rules of Engagement” I decided to check out his books for future reference.
You would think the conservatives would have worked out a way to offset this micromanaging of war by now and protecting our fighters. We have boots in jail today because of the rules of engagement.
Thanks for the great post. A lot of great men in that war. Unfortunately never given their due.
History repeats itself.
The Colonel seems to have been an eagle forced to soar with turkeys.
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