42nd Anniversary!

November 1, 1968

VMFA-314 Phantom Picture from "Stars and Stripes"


One of my more memorable rides in the back seat!

We landed twice - the first time around, our hook skipped the arresting cable, so it was a "two-wheel touch and go" while skidding on a wing tank!  Carl said he wanted another try and his second landing was fine. He saved the plane - and me too!  This was probably the only time a Phantom ever successfully landed twice like this.

(Note:  The photo above is from "Stars and Stripes", a day or two after the November 1, 1968 incident.  This photo was then published in the VMFA-314 1968 cruise book, "The Black Knights Continue the Fight".  It also appeared in in "USMC Phantoms in Combat" by Lou Drendel, Squadron/Signal Publications, 1990,  ISBN 0897472357, page 10 and more recently in "The Marines", by Edwin Howard Simmons and J. Robert Moskin, Marine Corps Heritage Foundation,  October 1998, ISBN 0883631989, page 225.  The photo is properly credited to SSgt Calvin M. Hoar.  The captions are only partly correct in the later two publications.)

VMFA-314 had a great reunion in January, 2007 - see VMFA-314.com!

Here's the photo given to us after the landingSSgt. Calvin M. Hoar's name is stamped on the back:

Phantom Crash Landing, Original Photo by SSgt. C.M. Hoar

Here's the Phantom crew, Maj. Carl E. R. Black and 1st Lt. Bob Schmitt:

Major Black and 1st Lt. Schmitt, October 1968, Chu Lai

And here is SSgt Cal Hoar in 1968:

SSgt Cal Hoar, Chu Lai, RVN, 1968

In June, 1999, I had another celebration -

30th Anniversary!

400 Mission Patch - Four Aces!  R.G. Schmitt total was 424 missions.

on June 10, 1969, I was "withdrawn" from Chu Lai, RVN!  We were winning the air war when I left!

Joe Garzik and Bob Schmitt - 300 Phantom Missions for Lt. Schmitt

Thanks to all Phantom drivers who got me through:

Carl Black
George Proudfoot
Joe Garzik
(pictured above in color photo, on left;
Joe & I drove Route 66 in September 2009)

Jack Sharkey
Don Evans
Bernie Schmidt
Frank Petersen
Bob Franklin
Gil Tanzer
Kimo (Jim) Kelly
Herb Lundin
Steve Hinkle
and many other VMFA-314 pilots!

 VMFA-314 Black Knight's Squadron Patch

  Capt. George Proudfoot and 1st Lt. Bob Schmitt - Apple Flight Patch 

Click logo below for copy of vintage bumper-sticker:

Marine Air Bumper Sticker (MarineAir71.jpg 222148 bytes)

Bob S. (former Captain, USMC, RIO)

Breaking News: January 2007

Here is an email received January 22, 2007 - amazing after all these years!


I had the honor or misfortune, to be watching that landing that day.

Standing beside me was one of our favorite comedians, Martha Raye. She had just landed at Chu Lai for a refueling or rest stop on her way to do a show at Da Nang.

She watched the whole thing, the first attempt and the go-around again and land.

She asked if everyone was all right, I said yes, they walked away from that one.

We watched from the Mac terminal area where my planes were parked. I was with VW1 ground support and we had a maintenance facility set up between the duty runway and the taxiway at the MAC terminal end of the airfield.

Eugene Kipp NCC USN (Ret)."

Finally -

Here's our Phantom in 1982:

A few years ago, I promoted myself to the "front seat" and my "bomber" driving was with a 1966 Imperial LeBaron. But thrills now come from two sports cars and more than one Vespa.  Here is  one sports car!  

In the spirit of this anniversary celebration, on June 5, 1999, the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Retired Records Section, by an official government agent (my postman!), sent a updated "Entitlement to Awards" certificate with a package of appropriate medals.  Thanks! 

(and coming up soon, Happy Holidays 2010!)


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Last update: November 1, 2010