After emptying the gun of 30 mm on ground targets resembling tanks, and dropping live 500 pound bombs on dummy airfields, it was time to find the aircraft tanker and get a much needed fill up. Exiting the threat area, I scanned the sky and located my airborne gas station. Timing it for the thrill of the pull up, I pulled back on the control stick and came into formation with the tanker. The finesse of flying formation with a tanker while getting your gas, plugged in to a receptacle in the forward part of the aircraft, “between your legs”, was another experience you simply can’t describe.
After the wingman had his gas, we said goodbye to the tanker, a KC97, rolled over almost inverted and pulled straight back to the 300 AGL (above ground level) altitude for the trip home. Since we had enough gas to easily make it back to base, I took a sight seeing tour through the high desert area near Sequoia National Forest. I found a deserted road and decided to ‘get really low’. Probably too low, but still, well, 30 feet maybe!!