I’m chilling at Bagram Air Base outside Kabul, awaiting a flight to Logar province. Outside, F-15E fighters roar down the runway on their way to provide close air support to ground troops. The noise reminds me of a story I read in the latest Combat Aircraft, about a U.S. Air Force F-15 jock who had an unusual encounter during the 1991 Gulf War. To quote author Steve Davies:
Maj. Randy May … fired two AIM-7s outside of 10 miles at what was claimed to be a Mi-24 [helicopter]. While May’s wingman reported he saw the wreckage “fall into a military compound,” May had actually shot through a solid undercast and neither him, nor his wingman, actually saw the target. … Rumors soon circulated about a Mercedes traveling down a highway coincident with May’s target, which had been found destroyed by an AIM-7. This led some to posit that May had actually “shot down” a car.