Preserving The Oral HistorIES of Combat Veterans


Bob Bruffey | Multiple Units - Air Force

2:35   |   When Air Force technician Bob Bruffey shipped out to Germany for the second time, he was sent to Libya for air/sea survival training. This involved being pulled through the water in a parachute. When the chute wouldn't release and he was pulled under, he experienced an eerie calm just at the edge of death.

More From Bob Bruffey

Keywords   :     Bob Bruffey    Warner Robins AFB    weather    C-47    Vietnam    Weisbaden    Germany    Clark AFB    Philippines    Saudi Arabia    Europe    navigational aides    C-140    survival    sea    Libya    parachute    barge    motorboat    water    Mediterranean    near death experience    drown

Videos ( 5 )
  • Bob Bruffey  |  Korea  |  Multiple Units  |  4:36

    He thought he had a promise to go to technical school, but Bob Bruffey was frustrated for his first two years in the Air Force. Finally he got his wish and, after working on F-51's for a while, shipped out to Korea where he retrieved downed planes for repair.

  • Bob Bruffey  |  Korea  |  Multiple Units  |  4:45

    Bob Bruffey could only shake his head and wonder how he got assigned to a unit full of misfits. Surrounded by their drunken antics at his Korean air base, he escaped on the weekends to take food and clothing to orphans living in caves.

  • Bob Bruffey  |  Vietnam  |  Multiple Units  |  7:36

    He'd been in Korea and Cold War Germany, but Bob Bruffey had one more conflict to attend. After confronting a python at yet another survival school, he flew technical missions to flight check the gear at airfields in Vietnam and Thailand. Still in the Air Force when he returned stateside, he had a moment of enlightenment while serving coffee to a General.

Cold War
  • Bob Bruffey  |  Cold War  |  Multiple Units  |  5:41

    Bob Bruffey returned from Korea and continued to work on airplanes, adding the C-47 to his list. Then it was off to Cold War work in Weisbaden, where everyone scattered when he asked what kind of outfit this was. "You were never here. This never existed."

  • Bob Bruffey  |  Cold War  |  Multiple Units  |  4:05

    The missions were so secret, that when the plane returned from the East with no insignia, our own fighters were scrambled to intercept it. Bob Bruffey maintained that plane and when one of the crew defected to the East, he had to go to Washington for debriefing. He couldn't help but laugh at his intelligence contacts there.

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