Richard Kirkland is legendary for his P-38 Lightning missions in the South Pacific theater during WWII. After the war, he realized the potential of Igor Sikorsky’s new flying machine, and he traded in his fighter-pilot wings for rotors. The nerve-racking chopper missions he has flown are the stuff of legend: scrambling to evacuate president Harry Truman after an unthinkable “code red one” alert comes over his red phone; bantering with the real “Hawkeye” at a MASH unit before flying into North Korea to rescue wounded soldiers. Equally riveting are his accounts of a medevac pilot in Vietnam who lands a ten ton CH-46 “Frog” in the jungle at night, with no lights, under fire, with only a soldier’s cigarette lighter for reference; and an aerial tour pilot who routinely pulls people out of the water above, below, and right before Niagara Falls.
Richard C. Kirkland
Richard C. Kirkland was in the famous "Flying Knights" Fighter Squadron during WWII. During the Korean War, he flew 69 helicopter missions rescuing downed pilots from behind enemy lines and snatching wounded soulders from the battlefield at the 8055 MASH, home of the infamous "Hawkeye." He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, five Air Medals, the Air Force Commendation Medal and both the U.S. and Korean Presidential citations for his service in WWII and the Korean War.