By Bert Kinzey

ISBN-10: 0853106150

ISBN-13: 9780853106159

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Why subject them to public embarrassment, demoralization, and possible separation when the matter could be handled by firm counseling by other midshipmen? Finally, I believed a counseling option would send a strong message to others that the Academy officials trusted in the midshipmen’s judgment and reliability. This would enhance the brigade’s sense of ownership, pride, and responsibility for any honor standard. Moreover, I disliked a codified set of rules or “thou shalt nots,” as existed in the West Point code.

I leveled at 35,000 feet, still accelerating, aimed at the dry lake bed at Edwards Air Force Base. I felt like I was speeding down a highway with no traffic in sight. I became transfixed, observing the airspeed indicator and fuel flow increasing at a prodigious rate. I was surprised by how hot it became in the cockpit because of the aerodynamic heating. I had to constantly reduce my temperature thermostat as the acceleration run progressed. I will never forget the feeling of seeing my airspeed indicator reading one thousand knots as I went through Mach 1, racing toward Mach 2.

We knew this would be the case before we arrived on the banks of the Severn River, bordering the school. Yet, it was still a shocking transformation from the generally relaxed ambiance of Nashville to the sit-up-straight world of a military school. In those days there were about two hundred midshipmen in each of twenty-four companies. I was in Company Three. Although I plunged into the disciplined routine with great enthusiasm, I realized right off the bat that the Academy was no West End High.

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F-100 Super Sabre by Bert Kinzey


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