729 – Don Harten – Vietnam B-52 pilot tells his incredible story

Don Harten, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

“Midair” by author Craig Collins, right, recounts a crash during the Vietnam War involving an aviator with Sacramento ties, his uncle Don Harten, left. Harten survived a horrific midair collision of two B-52 bombers. That amazing feat is just part of his war experience. He did five tours of duty and flew 319 combat missions. Lezlie Sterling lsterling@sacbee.com

Ron Kirby, president of Chapter #1078 of the Vietnam Veterans of America located in Knoxville, Tennessee invites all Vietnam Veterans and those who care about the veterans to attend their meeting next Tuesday, October 11 at 6:00 pm. The speaker will be Mack Payne, author of the book Conversations with Vietnam Heroes. He will be speaking about why he believes the Vietnam War should be called the “Upside Down” war. CLICK HERE for more information about Chapter #1078 of the Vietnam Veterans of America.

Bill Lindelof, vietnam veteran news, Mack Payne

Bill Lindelof, writer for the Sacramento Bee

In this episode the story of an amazing Vietnam War US Air Force pilot, Don Harten, will be featured. The story about his exploits in Vietnam is described in a story found in The Sacramento Bee titled: Mather Vietnam-era pilot recounts survival of midair B-52 collision submitted by: By Bill Lindelof – blindelof@sacbee.com. In the story Lindel tells about a book titled “Midair” by author Craig Collins, the nephew of Harten wrote about his uncle’s experiences while flying in Vietnam. The book puts special emphasis on that fateful stormy night when the B-52 Harten was piloting had a midair head-on collision with another B-52.

Don Harten, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Don Harten in front of his bomb-laden F-105 in 1968. He flew 319 combat missions over five tours of duty, piloting the B-52, F-105 and F-111 aircraft. Courtesy of Don Harten

Harten was one of four who survived the crash. Eight did not make it. He was not out of the frying pan when he successfully ejected from the bomber just before it exploded. He jumped into a category 5 storm – Super Typhoon Dinah. After landing in the stormy South China Sea he waited what seemed like a lifetime in a small life raft. The aircraft that finally picked him up promptly crashed in the ocean. Eventually the downed pilot was rescued by a Norwegian freighter and taken to who knows where (you will have to read the book to find the answer to that question).

If you want a good and exciting read about another fabulous member of the Great Vietnam Veteran Generation get a copy of Craig Collins book “Midair.” You will not be able to put it down until you find out where the Norwegian freighter took Don Harten so he could return to his unit and continue the fight against the rise of Communism and it goal of a one world government.




729 – Don Harten – Vietnam B-52 pilot tells his incredible story — 2 Comments

  1. Thanks so much for sharing…I had an email address from a Vietnam vet in Colorado and he sent mail for a very long time and I enjoyed reading his mail so much…he had a great sense of humor…and used a lot of adult words…but since I am over 50 I love it and really enjoyed it….my computer crashed and I lost everything…so please keep sending….thank you again Sandra

  2. I also was a Air Force pilot. My Vietnam job was flying a C123 transport aircraft. A fairly dangerous flying assignment. But what the B52 crews were faced with especially Major Hartens midair and it’s aftermath made me realize us Air commandos had a walk in the park compared to the B52 mission.

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