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The Day The Colonel Got Back In the Jet One Last Time

American Hero Air Force Colonel Bud Day Was Honored By The Collings Foundation

Colonel George Everette “Bud” Day was shot down while flying a North American F-100F Super Sabre “Misty” forward air controller (FAC) mission on August 26th 1967 and spent the next 2,027 days as a prisoner of the North Vietnamese. Day was the last Congressional Medal of Honor recipient of the war. Though he was badly injured while ejecting from his F-100F, he bravely resisted the attempts by his captors to break his will and spirit. Day first served his country during the last 30 months of World War II and flew fighters in Korea and Vietnam. Day is the only recipient of both the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Air Force Cross.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia-Network54

After he recovered from his injuries and long confinement Colonel Day returned to flying and eventually accumulated about 8,000 flying hours, of which 4,900 were logged flying single-engine jets. Bud Day “slipped the surly bonds” in various models of the Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star, Republic F-84 Thunderjet, North American F-100 Super Sabre, McDonnell F-101 Voodoo, Lockheed F-104 Starfighter, Republic F-105 Thunderchief, Convair F-106 Delta Dart, McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II, Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, Vought A-7 Corsair II, Canadair CF-5 Tiger, and McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle jet fighters. After his retirement in 1977 the Colonel practiced law and wrote “Return with Honor”, an autobiography about his experiences as a prisoner of war, followed by “Duty, Honor, Country,” another autobiography which included his post-service life. Far too soon after he was honored by the Collings Foundation on March 29th 2011, the Colonel passed away in Florida on July 27th 2013.

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Written by Bill Walton

Bill Walton

Bill Walton is a life-long aviation enthusiast and expert in aircraft recognition. As a teenager Bill helped his engineer father build an award-winning T-18 homebuilt airplane in their Wisconsin basement. Bill is a freelance writer, an avid sailor, engineer, announcer, husband, father, uncle, mentor, coach, and Navy veteran. Bill lives north of Houston TX with his wife and son under the approach path to KDWH runway 17R, which means they get to look up at a lot of airplanes. A very good thing.