Arc Light One... B-52 Mission - Don Harten, Author Talk
April 15, 2012
On June 18, 1965, thirty B-52s took part in the first Strategic Air Command B-52 bombing mission in Vietnam, a mission that, if carried out successfully, might have brought the war to an early end. However, before two of the bombers could deliver their payload, they collided in midair, both planes exploding over the South China Sea.
Then-Lt. Don Harten, a copilot on the mission, survived the collision and parachuted into the ocean. After sixteen hours in the water, he was rescued by an SA-16 Albatross amphibian. Before the Albatross could return to base, it lost an engine and crashed back into the sea. Harten brings this story of survival and camaraderie to life in his book, Arc Light One, and he'll be on hand to recount his miraculous true story of survival. Harten will have copies of his books available for sale at the talk.
After more than 360 hours of combat flying in the B-52, Harten volunteered for another assignment and was selected to fly the F-105. He flew 156 combat missions in the F-105, 130 of them over North Vietnam. He subsequently flew the F-111 on thirty combat missions and was the only person to fly the B-52, F-105, and F-111 in combat.
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