THE F-100F SUPER SABRE AND MISTY
The North American F-100 Super Sabre fighter jet served with the USAF from 1954 to 1971. As successor to the F-86 Sabre, it was the first of the century series of US jet fighters and the first US fighter capable of supersonic speed in level flight. In it's later life it was often referred to as the Hun". The "Hun" also served in the USAF "Thunderbirds" aerial demonstration team and the similar "Skyblazers aerial demonstration team in Europe.
"Misty" was the radio call sign used by the F-100F Fast Forward Air Controllers (Fast FACs) during the Vietnam War. Of the 155 Mistys, 34 were shot down--two were shot down twice. There were seven KIA and four POWs. There was also one Medal of Honor winner, two Air Force Chiefs of Staff, six general officers, a winner of the Collier Trophy, the Louis Bleriot Medal, the Presidential Citizen's Medal of Honor, and the first man to fly non-stop, un-refueled around the world. By any measure this was an unusual group of men. The Mistys are legend.
Misty began with 16 pilots and four aircraft as Detachment 1, 416th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Phu Cat Air Base, Vietnam on 15 June 1967. Its official name was, "The Commado Sabre Operation." The Misty mission was to interdict men and materials headed to South Vietnam and to prevent SAM deployment in their area of responsibility. Misty was a dangerous mission and the loss rates were high. For this reason the tour length was adjusted to four months (50-60 missions). Major George "Bud" Day was their first commander. He organized and became the commander of the first "Misty Super FAC" unit flying the North American F-100F Super Sabre. On 26 August 1967, Days accumulation of over 5000 flying hours came to an abrupt halt when he was shot down over North Vietnam and immediately captured by the North Vietnamese following his ejection.
George E. "Bud" Day is the nations most highly decorated soldier since General Douglas MacArthur. In a military career spanning 34 years and 3 wars, Day received nearly 70 decorations and awards of which more than 50 are for combat. Most notable of his decorations is our nations highest military honor, the Congressional Medal of Honor.
MEDAL OF HONOR CITATION
On 26 August 1967, Col. Day was forced to eject from his aircraft over North Vietnam when it was hit by ground fire. His right arm was broken in 3 places, and his left knee was badly sprained. He was immediately captured by hostile forces and taken to a prison camp where he was interrogated and severely tortured. After causing the guards to relax their vigilance, Col. Day escaped into the jungle and began the trek toward South Vietnam. Despite injuries inflicted by fragments of a bomb or rocket, he continued southward surviving only on a few berries and uncooked frogs. He successfully evaded enemy patrols and reached the Ben Hai River, where he encountered U.S. artillery barrages. With the aid of a bamboo log float, Col. Day swam across the river and entered the demilitarized zone. Due to delirium, he lost his sense of direction and wandered aimlessly for several days. After several unsuccessful attempts to signal U.S. aircraft, he was ambushed and recaptured by the Viet Cong, sustaining gunshot wounds to his left hand and thigh. He was returned to the prison from which he had escaped and later was moved to Hanoi after giving his captors false information to questions put before him. Physically, Col. Day was totally debilitated and unable to perform even the simplest task for himself. Despite his many injuries, he continued to offer maximum resistance. His personal bravery in the face of deadly enemy pressure was significant in saving the lives of fellow aviators who were still flying against the enemy. Col. Day's conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Air Force and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Armed Forces.