Preserving The Oral HistorIES of Combat Veterans

COMBAT STORIES FROM Vietnam

Bill Person | 553rd Reconnaissance Wing - Air Force

7:48   |   Bill Person was an Intelligence Officer visiting a base in Laos when he spotted some old T-38 trainers. He just had to fly one and it was fun...at first.

More From Bill Person

Keywords   :     Bill Person    Laos    C-47    Bangkok    T-28    .50 cal    photographer    bomb    rocket    Nom Khan River    Mekong River    DMZ    fighter    canopy    oil    civilian    .38    H-34    Sikorsky    Jolly Green Giant

Videos ( 8 )
Vietnam
  • Bill Person  |  Vietnam  |  553rd Reconnaissance Wing  |  7:41

    He was a new pilot but there were no pilot positions open so Bill Person became a weapons controller and intelligence officer. When he got to Vietnam, he noticed right away that "we gave them an opportunity to beat us every time we got a chance." For instance, he knew that the North was playing tapes with Russian voices to ward off attackers, who were not allowed to attack Russians.

  • Bill Person  |  Vietnam  |  553rd Reconnaissance Wing  |  8:21

    Bill Person gives a behind-the-scenes look at the sensor program in Vietnam. Using technology adapted from the Navy's anti submarine program, audio and seismic sensors were placed along the Ho Chi Minh Trail and inside North Vietnam. In one case, a recording of two amorous VC led to the destruction of an ammo dump. Curiously, Person was told not to share any more targets with the FACS.

  • Bill Person  |  Vietnam  |  553rd Reconnaissance Wing  |  6:41

    There were four sensors in a row on the Ho Chi Minh Trail and the trucks kept turning before they got to the fourth one. Intelligence Officer Bill Person decided there was a supply drop there and gave the target to the pilots. After lighting up the whole sky with that strike, the question came, "Do you have any more of those targets?"

  • Bill Person  |  Vietnam  |  553rd Reconnaissance Wing  |  2:22

    As he was leaving Vietnam, Bill Person received word that he would be interviewed back in Washington. He went to the appointment and was sitting alone in an office when in walked President Lyndon Johnson. He wanted to know about the sensor program and what he heard was not what he wanted to hear.

  • Bill Person  |  Vietnam  |  553rd Reconnaissance Wing  |  2:31

    Bill Person was preparing planes to be mothballed when some guys in blue khaki came and removed the electronic sensors that tracked VC movements on the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Then he received an order to take one of the planes to Israel.

  • Bill Person  |  Vietnam  |  553rd Reconnaissance Wing  |  1:44

    Bill Person and his driver stopped when they saw something in the road. To his amazement, a King cobra reared up to the height of a man.

Cold War
  • Bill Person  |  Cold War  |  553rd Reconnaissance Wing  |  6:03

    According to Intelligence Officer Bill Person, we had World War III won before it started. That was because he had figured out every Russian target in the United States and the routes of the bombers which would hit them. Then, for good measure, he calculated when and where Russian spy satellites would be looking down.

  • Bill Person  |  Cold War  |  553rd Reconnaissance Wing  |  4:53

    According to Intelligence Officer Bill Person, the Cuban Missile Crisis was a ploy by Nikita Khrushchev to get the United States to remove it's missiles from Turkey, no more and no less. He succeeded but his country was still in the cross hairs of American military might.

Showing : Vietnam Videos
 1 2 3 >  Last › | Showing 30 / 2,049

Our Sponsors

SpendHQInsight Sourcing  Group