Ed (Boris) Beakley contacted me recently and asked if I would provide an excerpt of my book, From Phantom to Warthog for inclusion in his excellent website, Remembered Sky. The focus was my transition from F-4 to A-10 and the different approaches taken by the Navy and the Air Force in categorizing roles and pilots (or aviators, depending on your point of view). Like me, Boris has experience in both air-to-air and attack roles, but the Navy makes a definite distinction between fighter and attack wings, squadrons and pilots. On the other hand, we Air Force types see ourselves always as fighter pilots, albeit in varying roles. Our units are all designated ‘Fighter’–Squadrons and Wings and even we Hog drivers wouldn’t refer to ourselves as Attack pilots in casual conversation.
Remembered Sky began so as to tell the ’72-’73 story of USS Midway, Carrier Airwing Five and to further focus primarily on the Attack mission side. The site has grown appreciably, but Boris has delved into the differences, semantic and otherwise between the Naval and Air Force philosophies in role and unit designations. Here’s my contribution to his project. I hope you’ll enjoy it!