Rocky moved the landing gear lever up to the retract position and unlocked the power levers, he moved them back to standard military power. His right hand fingers wrapped around the control handle between his knees. He hardly noticed the cloud base that engulfed the aircraft as he watched the vertical speed increase to 8000 feet per minute. His radar detected what appeared to be friendlies joining up for combat echelon formation.
Just as the jet launched into sunlight from the cloud-tops in a near vertical position, Rocky pressed the transmit button on his control stick, “Beaver Control this is Webad 4 squawking IFF (Identify friend or foe) code 12.”
The female voice was clipped and urgent in delivery,” Webad 4 vectors to Grainger-one for join-up, heading 280.”
Rocky was already flying the heading and by the time he replied with roger he had visual contact with a flight of two tomcats with their wings spread wide in the sub-sonic position. Then he saw a lone tomcat closing in on them. The formation was moving from his right to left about 3000 feet above. He banked slowly left to set-up and intercept angle.
Rocky switched to combat frequency. Soon after three was part of the formation Rocky and Buckwheat’s jet was just under the right wing of Webad 3.
Com 2 came alive, “Webad flight this is Webad 1, arm for air to air and we are unrestricted engagement status, targets of opportunity are approved, over”
The chipped reply of the others came: 2, 3, and Rocky chimed in with 4.
Okay guys, Jethro just lobbed a couple more artillery shells at Yeongyeong Island and South Korea isn’t going to take-it this time. They are retaliating with ground troops and support aircraft but the Mig 29’s are presently picking them off. We are the first wave and we are supposed to engage the top cover birds while the second wave goes in and saves the friendlies. It should be a pretty good turkey-shoot because Jethro actually has ten or more 29s operational.