ATLANTA VOICES: MEMORIES OF VIETNAM
Joe Hickox's Vietnam War Photos
HIS VIETNAM WAR STORY
Lieutenant Colonel, Airborne Battlestaff operations, U.S. Air Force
Joe Hickox served as an Airborne Battle Staff Operations Officer for the Air Force.
We were assigned to control all the air war out of South Vietnam and when pilots would go North they had clear it through us.
He stayed in the air 14 hours a day, checking on pilots and coordinating rescues if they were shot down.
Later on in the war, Hickox trained Laotian pilots to help with the war in Laos. He recalled one pilot in particular.
Many times he would be way off the angle and the airspeed he was supposed to be at and he still hit a bull’s-eye. He was very good. In fact most of them were very good and I was impressed that where they came from they probably never rode a motorcycle or drove a car but they learned to fly that airplane quite well.
These days Hickox has definite opinions about the Vietnam War.
In my judgment, we should have never gotten involved in the first place without a strategy to win. We never had a victory strategy. What Washington didn't understand was the resolve of the Vietnamese people and the Communists to fight to the death.