Vietnam pilot recalls memories of war

Author and Vietnam War veteran Bob Ford will be speaking at the Honoring our Nation’s Heroes event at the Frontiers of Flight Museum on Aug. 18. Ford flew more than one thousand missions in Vietnam as a Huey aircraft commander between 1967-1968. Ford pays tribute to the valiant men he served with and to those who risked their lives in his memoir, “Black Cat 2-1: The True Story of a Vietnam Helicopter Pilot and His Crew.” Even knowing the odds were against him, Ford volunteered to take command of a helicopter detachment 40 miles from the DMZ at Hue, the farthest northern helicopter unit in Vietnam. Ford has an interesting take on the presence of drugs in Vietnam (his company abstained completely) and of the media representation of the war, which he says negatively affected the reception of war-torn vets whose post-war care was not taken seriously. After he completed his tour, he became an instructor pilot at Fort Wolters. In 2017, he donated a Huey helicopter to the Oklahoma History Center. Earlier this year, he had the pleasure of being part of the StoryCorps program with NPR. Ford’s take on the Vietnam War and the aftermath thereof gives perspective to one of the most recognizable and characterized periods in American history. Visit for more information. — Leah Edwards