June 15, 2016
Cleared Hot: Lt. Col. Lou Shehi, USAF (Ret.) on FACs in Vietnam
Lou Shehi, Lieutenant Colonel, USAF (Ret.) will share his experiences flying the O-1 Cessna Bird Dog as a Forward Air Controller (FAC) in the early stages of the air war over South East Asia in 1965. He will give our members and guests a sense of the dangers, difficulties and contributions of pilots flying the Close Air Support missions. Lou will describe how pilots were selected and ended up flying as FACs, including how he, as an experienced F-101B Voodoo pilot assigned to the 98th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, was sent to Vietnam in July 1965. During his tour, Lou operated in III Corps near the Parrot’s Beak and Cu Chi. He will tell us of his crash and subsequent hospitalization that led to his return to the Voodoo at Griffis AFB, NY.
Lou’s talk will include a quick review of the FAC buildup before Vietnam, anecdotes about Cobra 4, his visit in Tachikawa Hospital as well as other FAC call signs including Butterflies and Ravens from 1967 through 1975. He also talks about the little known Forward Air Navigators.
About Lou Shehi
Lou was born in Portland Oregon and his family moved to San Francisco in 1945. He received his ROTC commission after graduation from San Francisco State and entered pilot training on March 17, 1959 and went on to Advanced Interceptor School at Perrin AFB, Texas. He would go on to tours flying the RF-101C and the RF-4C Phantom at Upper Heyford RAF in England. He also flew the RF-4C and EF-4C at Zweibrucken, Germany. He completed a 13 month assignment to Osan AB Korea, headquarters assignments at Maxwell AFB, and served with Air Staff at the Pentagon. Lou’s wife Sophie, while President of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 179, and with the enthusiastic support of Legion Post 179 at the Log Cabin in San Anselmo, oversaw the shipment of 12 tons of CARE packages to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Columbia Distributing (formerly Mesa Beverage)
3200 N. Laughlin Road. Santa Rosa, CA, 95403
Air Show Meeting: Same location, 6:00 p.m.
Directions: From Santa Rosa, take Highway 101 North and exit at Airport Blvd. Turn left on Laughlin Road toward the museum. The Columbia Distributing building is located on the left (east) side of the street a couple hundred yards past the museum.