Join us for a free event on Saturday, April 16, 2022, 11 am – 2 pm at Aviation Heritage Park. It is the 50th anniversary of General Dan Cherry’s aerial victory over a MiG 21 in the skies over Vietnam. At noon the public are invited to a double treat. Step inside the new AHP museum to hear General Cherry relate his fascinating story about April 16, 1972 as told in his book, My Enemy, My Friend. While inside guests may check out the museum building progress.
Fifty years ago, on April 16, 1972, General Dan Cherry faced a North Vietnamese MiG 21 in the skies over Vietnam and emerged the victor.
After taking off from a base in Thailand on April 16, 1972, Cherry was flying with three other Phantoms from the 432nd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, patrolling about 50 miles southwest of Hanoi. They were chasing two MiGs when they spotted a third lower down. Cherry and his wingman chased the third MiG into a cloud, and spotted the North Vietnamese pilot when they emerged.
Sidewinder missiles malfunctioned repeatedly on both of the American planes, but Cherry finally fired a Sparrow missile, which hit the MiG about 4,000 feet away.
“The explosion blew the right wing of the MiG off and it immediately went into a hard spiral, trailing fire and smoke,” Cherry wrote. “The MiG pilot ejected and his chute opened right in front of me.”
Little did he know that he would be reunited with that pilot, Nyugen Hong My, on a Vietnamese television program in April of 2008.
There will be docents available to answer questions and relate aircraft and aviator stories in the park.