True Callings – 88

Written by: Ed Zuckerman, John Schulian; Watch Now: – Sorry, not available on Amazon

[Episode based on the Mar 10th, 1967 incident where USAF Capt Robert Pardo used his F4 Phantom to push a fellow aviator from North Vietnam into friendly territory.]

Gunny Victor Galindez (G) arrived at JAG with everyone but Tiner (Ti) and Bud’s (B) blessings. Chegwidden (C) said he was having trouble obtaining two Limp Bizket tickets for a charity auction and G said he might be able to obtain them. Both B and Ti decided to “one-up” G and get the tickets themselves. Chegwidden enjoyed the competition. Tiner and B bid against each other on EBay until B won at $200. Bud kept telling G that he couldn’t sit at different desks around JAG until G said that he’d sit on the floor thereby shaming him into letting him sit at Harriet’s (Ht) empty desk. Mac (M) told B that “Tiner was a child but you’re not.” Gunny obtained the tickets “comp” from a roady friend – B got the donation receipt. Mac seemed very subdued; especially when C didn’t acknowledge her efforts getting G to come to JAG.

Harm (H) was flying missions aboard the Patrick Henry with Skates as his RIO. PO Sean Curran smuggled an endangered pregnant woman, Zepa Berisha, aboard his COD flight and onto the ship. She was pregnant through Serbian rape and in danger of death by her enraged fiancé. Lt Aldridge, the JAG, had never tried a criminal case but decided to start on this one. He adamantly refused Hs offers of help and botched badly until the last minute when he was loosing to the equally inept Lt Yuen. After the closing statements H came back from flying and showed that Yuen had charged Curran with non-applicable statutes.

Harm was assigned to recon missions behind enemy lines. Skates developed panic attacks over the danger. Harm had a talk with her and revealed a week of feelings of impending death – “back in the days when I still thought that they would name an airfield after me.” He said that he only knew “if you keep flying it does go away.” Harm’s wingman was hit by flack which destroyed one engine and they were going down. Harm wouldn’t let him eject in enemy territory when “feet wet” was so close. Tuna told him to “leave and let them eject in peace” but H had them lower their landing hook then pushed them with their hook on his canopy. He told Skates to keep them above 500 feet going over a ridge but gave her the call. She overcame her fear and let them get to 350 feet but they succeeded until they were “clear for nylon descent.” Skates said if she “could get through flying with H she could get through anything.” The pilots told H he was too young to be called “pappy” (the name they had previously given him due to his senority) and gave him the new call sign of “Hammer” like his dad. Capt Pike had several “fatherly” talks with H and advised him that he had “nothing further to prove” and that he’d “miss him.” Harm “had no career” flying because he’d “missed a couple of wars” and “those numbnuts will get a command before you do.”

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