Letter to Bill Levesque, Staff Writer, St. Petersburg Times
Thank you for the article about the new friendship between Dan Cherry and Nguyen Hong My. It shows that these proud and brave men could overcome the ravages of the Vietnam war and put political differences aside to admire each other for their love of flight.
In 1977, I was an 18 year old airman at Holloman AFB in New Mexico when I was tasked to “ride brakes” for a tow team that was to transfer a Thunderbird from a maintenance hangar to the flight line. As I sat in the cockpit, I read the schedule of Thunderbird maneuvers that were posted and the name above the schedule, Lt. Col. Dan Cherry, which also included a graphic of three cherries (much like you’d see on a slot machine). I always wondered about this fearless pilot and what had brought him to the Thunderbirds. 32 years later, I pick up my newspaper and read the story behind the man I had wondered about so long ago. Thank you again, and thanks to General Dan Cherry for his years of devoted service.