This is Cisco, aka Mike Francisco. He was a fellow member of the Air Force Academy class of ’67. After graduation, we split directions as Cisco had eagle eyes and was bound for pilot training. Me, my eyes had deteriorated during my four years at the Academy and I flunked the pilot’s eye exam four times, each time getting one eye or the other to qualify but unfortunately not both at the same time. By the slimmest of margins, I found myself qualified to earn the wings of a navigator instead of becoming the fighter pilot I dreamed of.
At first, I thought I would instead take the non-rated route in the Air Force, but my squadron officer convinced me that earning navigator wings might open the door for the Air Force to grant me a waiver on my eyes and let me go to pilot training after a few years of flying. So we packed our bags and headed to Mather Air Force Base in California where I did (more…)