Dec. 5 marks the 50th anniversary of a flying mission that went very wrong during the Vietnam War. On that morning in 1969, two F-4 Phantoms from the 12th Tactical Fighter Wing, assigned to the 558th Tactical Fighter Squadron, launched from Nakhon Phanom Air Base for a bombing mission over Laos. Only one aircraft made it back. Capt. Ben Danielson piloted the second F-4 – call sign Boxer 22 – with 1st Lt. Woodrow Bergeron Jr. in his back seat. As Danielson lined up his target, enemy anti-aircraft fire tore through the F-4 and immediately set it ablaze.

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Photo by: Courtesy Don Holloway |  VIRIN: 191129-F-PO640-0018.JPG