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Title:Albert M. Nixon's interview for the Veterans History Project at Atlanta History Center
Duration:01:09:34
Viewed:4,209
Published:30-03-2022
Source:Youtube

We welcome your comments on this interview at VeteransHistoryProject@AtlantaHistoryCenter.com Catalog number: VIS 201.0745 In this interview, Al Nixon recalls his service in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War. He describes his connection to the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta, where his grandfather built the home adjacent to the Atlanta History Center's Swan House. He recalls wanting nothing to do with the military initially, but secured a football scholarship to The Citadel anyway. An early physical resulted in his 4-F classification due to high blood pressure, but a later physical determined he did not have the condition and he was told he would be drafted immediately. He volunteered to fly for the Air Force and was accepted into the service. He describes several harrowing incidents during his flight training including a forced landing due to engine failure and a mid-air collision. He received orders to fly the F-4 Phantom and served 200 combat missions in Vietnam flying that aircraft, based in Thailand. He describes some of their missions, including dropping sensors along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. He recalls participating in the massive rescue efforts to recover downed flier 1Lt. "Woodie" Bergeron in 1969 and remembers the deaths of close friends killed in action. He reflects on how they dealt with stress and the loss of friends and how difficult it is now to remember those events. He was assigned to fly B-52s on his second tour in Vietnam and describes incidents both harrowing and humorous while flying that aircraft. His squadron participated in the "Linebacker II" bombings of Hanoi in 1972 and he recalls incidents that occurred during those missions, including the hazards of mid-air refueling at night. He recalls coming home from each of his two tours in Vietnam. He was assigned as an instructor pilot for the last few weeks of his time in the service and he describes "buzzing" his parents' home in Thomaston, Georgia, while on a training flight in a B-52. He describes his post-military careers and family and reflects on his service.

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