Mugger on CAP
Originally published September 18th, 2006.
Liberty in Karachi? That has to be one of the top ports of call Mugger sounds like he was a legend in his own mind.
Believe it, there are lots of Muggers out there in the fighter pilot world.
Second place for a fighter pilot is dead, so a fighter pilot can never ever imagine finishing any lower than first place, even in his own mind.
My fellow pilots in the attack ranks noted this early on, in the dirty shirt mess on the Connie there were frequent impromptu fighter pilot look a like contests behind the F-14 drivers we shared the ship with.
The classic look, embodied by one sweep wing driver in particular, was sunglasses on the top of the head (even though the sun may or may not be up), flight suit unzipped down to an Elvis level, and a pack of unfiltered Camels in the upper sleeve pocket of the flight suit.
We had several really good imitators who could mimic the tapping of the cigarette pack to get out the designated white stick, the placement in the lips, and the single flip of the Zippo to achieve the flame and the light off.
To watch the classic jock do this with 2 or 3 imitators in the background behind him doing the same without the required props was a hoot.
The first suck on the lighted white stick, with the eyes narrowed to slits, was beyond any comedy we could come up with.
Busbob – I think first – to get to those hallowed ranks – one has to be good – you were a flight instructor – how many apply to flight school vs how many end up flying the Navy’s top line fighters? I’ll bet 1:100 isn’t an unreasonable guess; probably on the low side. So a bit of pride is warranted.
That being said I think – among the “best of the best” there is a certain humility – knowing what you don’t know – can and will kill you. They recognize this.
For some reason I always remember a line from Patton where the actor playing Rommel, Karl Vogler, is being congratulated by an aide on his stunning victory over the Americans at Kasserine. The aide is all cocky and optimistic and Rommel says “You can afford to be optimistic, I can’t”
Studying Rommel as I have I have no doubt that those words could have come from him.
Lex laughed at this bravado as do you. BTW it seems Lex’s description of Mugger’s (names having been minimally altered to prevent being placed on somebody’s “People to Kill” list, just in case. ;-)) – pretty much matched yours on the Connie – must have been the “uniform” for a certain echelon!
BTW I like your saying that goes with your avatar – the artificial horizon. Should be my saying too as I seem to do a lot of “jinking” through life
That one was new to me. I’d never read it before. It was a treat.
I remember Staff SGT Penn.
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