Play / pause Missions over Iraq

Missions over Iraq

  • Ed SMith
  • Interview by: Ewan Burnett


Brings back lots of memories, flying combat missions,

of just being there really.

The trepidation before you start out in the first place

is on the ground in the briefing.

The not knowing what you're going to face

one day to the next.

I didn't fly combat missions for the first three days,

as I was only newly arrived in theater

and so pilots were coming back with stories

of what they'd experienced

and how successful or otherwise their missions had been,

some of it due to errors they'd made at times so

we would all learn from mistakes they'd made

and didn't want to repeat them,

so we took that as improving our skills

in developing our own capabilities.

It's a funny thing, flying into combat.

You don't think that you're going to be targeted,

but then it's in the back of your mind that you may get hit

and finish up.

My greatest concern was being shot down

and having to leave the aircraft.

I don't think I thought of anything else, that was the...

And then, because you'd seen on the TV what was happening

to people who had been shot down and captured.

So that was my greatest concern,

but you put that out of your mind really

and just concentrate on your place in the formation

and mission that you've got

and that you understand your part

and everything that you've been practicing

day after day doing.

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