Author: David R. “Buff” Honodel

Works Published by UNT Press

The Phantom Vietnam War: An F-4 Pilot's Combat over Laos

— Vol. 12: of North Texas Military Biography and Memoir Series

Published: September, 2018  Pages: 416  Features: 54 b&w illus. Map. Notes. Bib. Index.

David R. “Buff” Honodel was a cocky young man with an inflated self-image when he arrived in 1969 at his base in Udorn, Thailand. His war was not in Vietnam; it was a secret one in the skies of a neighboring country almost unknown in America, attacking the Ho Chi Minh Trail that fed soldiers and supplies from North Vietnam into the South. Stateside he learned the art of flying the F-4, but in combat, the bomb-loaded fighter handled differently, targets shot back, and people suffered. Inert training ordnance was replaced by lethal weapons. In the air, a routine day mission turned into an unexpected duel with a deadly adversary. Complacency during a long night mission escorting a gunship almost led to death. A best friend died just before New Year’s. A RF-4 crashed into the base late in Buff’s tour of duty. more... about The Phantom Vietnam War: An F-4 Pilot's Combat over Laos