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F-4D 66-0249

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18 NOV 1968, 433rd TFS, Ubon RTAB, Thailand- Stricken by 37mm Anti-Aircraft fire, F-4D 66-0249 became uncontrollable. Pilot Major Ben "Ray" Battle ordered his WSO 1Lt Robert "Kenny" Boone to eject. After the ejection the aircraft became controllable and Major Boone made a gear up landing at Ubon AB Thailand. Battle survived the landing and Boone was rescued unhurt from the Laotian jungle.

5 June 1967 MiG 21 kill by Maj Raspberry and Capt Gullick.

Kenny Boone and I were flying a fast mover FAC mission along the Ho Chi Min trail in Laos. It was an orientation ride for Kenny as he was newly assigned to my unit. We were at 4000 feet and Kenny was flying the airplane when I heard an explosion, the aircraft shuddered and the front windscreen was covered in what turned out to be hydraulic fluid. My sensation was that the aircraft as out of control and I ordered Kenny to eject which he did. Instinctively, I took the stick and throttles in hand and to my amazement, the aircraft as flyable. I called for help for Kenny and headed back for Thailand where we were stationed. I was given the option of ejecting or landing gear up as the landing gear would not come down. I elected to land gear up and catch the runway wire with my tail hook.. I have 150 aircraft carrier landings and thought I could easily make and arrested landing on the runway. I pulled the power off just as I touched down and the aircraft settled onto the wire cutting it.

The aircraft slid down the runway and veered off to the right before fish-hooking to the right and stopping. It caught on fire and I jumped out safely. As you know Kenny was recovered after spending a nervous night hanging in a tree in Laos In retrospect, My ordering Kenny to eject was a mistake which I have always regretted. I felt at the time I was saving his life and I intended to eject after he did. We both survived the incident for which I am grateful. End of story

Ray Battle

Ejection History- F-4 Phantom II-1968

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