Wings of the North Air Mail Newsletter Header
Wings of the North Air Mail Newsletter Header
Wings of the North Air Mail Newsletter Header

Dec 7, 2023 | Air Mail, News Flash

AirExpo VIP Bob Pardo Flies West

It is always sad when we lose another one of our AirExpo VIP’s. Lieutenant Colonel John Robert “Bob” Pardo, USAF Ret. flew west recently. We extend our deepest condolences to his family, especially his beloved wife Kathryn. Here’s his biography from when he participated as a VIP at AirExpo 2005.

Bob received his pilot wings in May 1955. During his career he flew the F-84G, F84-F, F-100D/F, F-102, F-106, and F-4C/D Phantom, and was a Combat Mission Leader in Southeast Asia.

It was March 10, 1967 , in enemy skies over Hanoi when Capt. Bob Pardo and his wingman Capt. Earl Aman were both hit by enemy fire. Aman’s aircraft was the worse off. Hit by two damaging blows to the fuel tank, he suddenly was down to 2,000 pounds of fuel instead of the 7,000 pounds he needed to safely return to the refueling tanker.

Pardo knew he had to do something quickly if Aman was going to make it out. Pardo decide to try and use the tailhook on Aman’s aircraft. He got the tailhook against the windscreen of his F-4 Phantom. Success. By this time, Aman’s aircraft was so low on fuel he had to shut down the engines. Pardo’s push was working, but the two aircraft had to stay directly in line. Pardo would push for 15 to 20 seconds, lose the necessary balance and slide off to the side. Then he’d have to reposition and push again. To keep his own damaged Phantom flying, Pardo shut down one engine for the last 10 minutes of the flight.

After pushing Aman’s aircraft almost 88 miles, the two damaged Phantoms reached friendly air space. At 6,000 feet, with practically no fuel left, the two pilots and their weapons systems officers parachuted to safety.

Decorations include the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart, Air Medal with twelve Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Meritorious Service Medal. Colonel Pardo is credited with on MiG kill and three assists. He flew 132 combat missions in Southeast Asia, 100 over North Vietnam. Colonel Pardo retired from the Air Force in March 1974.

Pin It on Pinterest