One of the Greats: Navy F-4 Fighter Pilot, 2,103 Days as a POW, Silver Star, Bronze Star, 2 Purple Hearts--Charlie Plumb


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By Justin "HASARD" Lee. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

My guest today is former US Naval Fighter Pilot, Charlie Plumb. After graduating from the Naval Academy, he completed flight training and reported to Miramar Air Station in San Diego where he flew the first adversarial flights in the development of “TOP GUN.” He then deployed to Vietnam and flew 74 successful combat missions and made over 100 carrier landings.

On his 75th mission, just five days before the end of his tour, he was shot down over Hanoi, taken prisoner, tortured, and spent the next 2,103 days in an 8-by-8 foot cell as a Prisoner Of War.

Following his repatriation, he continued his flying career, retiring from the Navy after 28 years of service.

In our conversation, we talk about what it was like flying the top jet of the era, the missions he flew over Vietnam, and how he kept hope throughout his nearly 6 years as a POW. Below are the show notes with associated time stamps:

  • His passion for flying (min. 02:30)
  • His first jet out of pilot training (03:30)
  • Probability of Kill (PK) missiles (06:00)
  • Showing up to Vietnam (07:30)
  • First mission (09:30)
  • Jumped by 3 enemy fighters (12:30)
  • Surface to Air Missiles (19:45)
  • Being shot down (26:00)
  • Hanoi Hilton (32:30)
  • Time in Captivity (34:00)
  • Keeping hope (39:40)
  • Torture (44:00)
  • Keeping mentally and physically fit (45:30)
  • Coming home (48:30)
  • Inspiring others (54:30)

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This episode was edited by Trevor Cabler
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