Monday, April 27, 2009

Forgive Thy Enemies

One of the more interesting stories I heard at Sun-N-Fun involved the two men you see in the picture above. On the right is General Dan Cherry (USAF-Retired) and on the left is Hong My, a pilot in the north Vietnamese air force during the Vietnam War. On April 16, 1972, Cherry and his Phantom F-4 shot down My in his MiG-21 over Vietnam.

On April 5, 2008, these two met again, on the ground this time, in Ho Chi Mihn City, on a television show that normally specialized in reuniting long-lost family members. But this time, it reunited two men who had once been enemies. Who says reality TV is a bad thing? Cherry went on to write a book about the event, and the two of them have visited numerous airshows and museums recently to tell their story. The woman in the picture above translated for My. I don't know if she's also a family member, but I suspect so.

The plane they stood in front of when they spoke at Sun-N-Fun had intrigued me the previous day, but I had no idea what it was. Looking closely revealed that all of the markings on it were in Russian, so I suspected it was a MIG. It was also the only plane on the field that looked as if it had never been restored. It was leaking fuel and had several oil drums beneath it to catch the spill.

I learned something else today. You can go online and look up planes by their number. See that 7708 on the side of the MIG? You can find it's info here.

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