Thomas G. Goduto Interview, 20 February 2001

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we would fly. I might fly 2 times in that following week, and then go back out on alert again. If you were on a week-off a week where you did your flying, and then back on, that was a back-to-back alert tour. And we did a lot of back to backs. And also during this period of time it was the first of do more with less. I said we started out with 27 crews—we were probably down to 18 crews and still had to fly the airplanes, fly the flying time, make sure everybody was— It was plush in the beginning. There were enough people for all the crew positions, and the pilots were the hardest position because there was a shortage of pilots. #1 was Viet Nam. #2 was, once a pilot he could go fly for an airlines, which was a lot more attractive then getting your butt shot at in Viet Nam.
INT:Do you remember that specific flight? I'm just curious.
TG:Yeah.
INT:You do? Why do you remember it?
TG:Because of the event that...
INT:[Inaudible—both talking at once].
TG:Yeah.
INT:Can you give us the details of the sortie that you were on at the time?
TG:Sure—well, I can't remember that. You know, they were all—The sortie was generic. It simulated a wartime sortie, a wartime mission and of course you had take off, and sometimes you had heavy weight take offs, which you wouldn't do all the time 'cause it was a lot of stress on the airplane. Well, you took off, climbed out, normally in the beginning of the mission you would refuel first, because there was a tanker coordination, and the timing of that was easier to control if you both did that right away.
INT:And you'd do that over North Dakota?
TG:Yes, but it didn't have to be—refueling tracks are all the way across the United States, and not necessarily in North Dakota, but once you left Minot, North Dakota airspace was only restricted by Canada. We wouldn't want to fly into Canada, and we wouldn't want to fly into Mexico but other than we'd go all over.
INT:Oh, anywhere you wanted to go?
TG:Yeah. We're gonna fly for 8 or 10 hours. I mean its 450 nauts for 10 hours, that's 4,500 miles, you know?

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