F-4 fighter pilot and author Mark Berent writes about one of his close air support missions over the Ho Chi Minh trail. His mission that night was to escort an AC-130 gunship as it destroyed targets on the main supply line between North and South Vietnam. Here is a part I especially like:
“Steadily we climb, turning a few degrees, easing stick forward some, trimming, climbing, climbing, then suddenly—on top! On top where the moonlight is so damn marvelously bright and the undercast appears a gently rolling snow-covered field. It’s just so clear and good up here, I could fly forever. This is part of what flying is all about. I surge and strain against my harness, taking a few seconds to stretch and enjoy this privileged sight.”
One of the things I loved about flying the Phantom was the incredible views from the air of the earth, sky, stars, the moon, clouds and storms.