Kent, Cameron C

February 24, 2012

My name is Cameron Kent with WXII-TV in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and I’m doing a series of stories about Vietnam Veterans.  I’m trying to track down Robert Gleason of Clemmons to do an interview with him about his book.  Do you have a current phone number or email you could share?  Thanks in advance., Cameron Kent, Lee Belden.

Sent data he requested


Kham Manivanh “Fly till you die or blasted out of the sky”

February 24, 2012

The story how a short , skinny young Laotian became a  RLAF pilot.

In mid 1965, halfway around the globe from USA, Laos to be

exact, there were half a dozen young boys sitting on the DonChanh bridge

looking up north to Wattay airport, every evening T-28 would take off and

return to Udorn, one of them said “Those planes are very beautiful

and neat I will fly it someday” Laugh go on “You’re too small

and a bit too short to fly and airplane Shorty” the other said and

that’s they used to call me back then. “You’ll see, time will

tell” I reply. On a Sunday July 65 I was boarding a C-47 to

Savannakhet (L-39) home of the Royal Lao Air Force Base and Pilot

training School.

On Monday I was report to the School and there was 2 guys in their Khaki

uniform with the Warrant Officer bar on their shoulder which they’re my

senior from the same College who get here ahead of me and they were

washed out off T-28 Class from Udorn, compare to them my height was below

their chin, they look at me and ask “What you doing here kid”

“Be a pilot” I reply. With pity smile and shook their head they

said “You can’t be, you too small” that’s really pissed me off,

I stand straight my tiny chest stick out and reply ” I will be, size

doesn’t matter but the Will will” Among 38 pilot students who joined

at the same class I was the smallest and youngest, 17+, 5’2″ and 94

Lbs. but my entrance test score was among the top 5.

I spend about 4 months in L-39 learning the basic military and trained on

the O-1/L-19 I logged 14 Hrs and 2 Solo landings. By Sept. 65 10 of us

were send to Udorn to train on the T-28. Luck would be on my side I was

the only one who took English in College all my class mate knew only

French and hardly understand Thai even though Lao and Thai Language were

very similar, I came out on top of the class. By May 66 RLAF possess a

very young and daring T-28 Fighter Bomber Pilot. I was the fifth one who

bailed out off T-28 during training and 1st one who success and survived

the other 4 before my class didn’t have much luck. One of my classmate

was killed when he did aileron roll too low speed and altitude and can’t

recover from stall and spin crash to a big tree on his solo just 6 weeks

before graduate.

One thing in our war torn country we didn’t have limit or contract it

would be lifetime or you become disable, that where our motto come to

“Fly till you die or blasted out of the sky”

For me I just think some bad guys invaded my country and it’s my Duty to

Serve and Protect my Country.

CPK Red/Spooky-13., Kham Phiou Manivanh, O-1/L-19, T-28, C/AC-47, C-123K, Pilot. Royal Lao Air Force.

People of interest from Generals to CIA according to the Internet

February 24, 2012 r

Joe Kittinger’s Latest

February 24, 2012

There was some disagreement on Jor Kittinger’s jump and balloon record and Joe settled this with these comments:  Joe’s comments–There is some FAI rule that the record holders have to live for 24 hours or some dumb thing like that. The fact is, official record or not they hold the record for the highest ascent in a balloon-113,740 feet. Just like my record is not an “official” record because no attempt was made to make a record. However, I did jump from 102,800 feet. Before my jump the NAA suggested that I establish a record on my up coming jump. I refused to have the jump certified as we were not making the jump to set a record but to obtain information that we needed for the forthcoming “Space Age” and to provide a means of escape from high altitudes. It would appear to the public that the objective of the jump was to set a record. I felt that it was not proper to use tax payers money to set a record. However, we did accomplish the goals that we started out to obtain. We contributed to the Space Age and developed a small stabilization parachute to provide a means of escape from high altitudes. Today, some 52 years later every Air Force in the world uses a small stabilizing parachute to stabilize the ejection seat to lower altitudes, an approach that we demonstrated to work some 52 years ago. And now you know “the rest of the story”.  Any Time Any Place, Joe Kittinger

1960—16 August—Joseph Kittinger parachutes from Excelsior III over New Mexico at 102,800 ft (31,300 m). He sets unbeaten (as of 2010) world records for: high-altitude jump; free-fall by falling 16 miles (26 km) before opening his parachute; and fastest speed by a human without motorized assistance, 614 miles per hour (988 km/h).[21]

1961—4 May—34.668 km (113,740 ft); Commander Malcolm D. Ross and Lieutenant Commander Victor A. Prather, Jr. (US Navy) in Strato-Lab V, using an unpressurized gondola and balloon developed by Winzen Research. After descending, the gondola containing the two balloonists landed in the Gulf of Mexico. A hovering helicopter lowered a rescue hook, and although Ross slipped partially out of it, he was able to recover before falling completely into the water. A few minutes later Prather slipped off the rescue hook into the ocean and drowned in spite of heroic efforts by Navy divers

Red Bull High-Altitude Jump Back On Track

A plan to fly to 120,000 feet in a helium balloon then parachute back to Earth is back on schedule this week after a long hiatus, Red Bull said on Tuesday. The Red Bull Stratos team is working with Col. Joe Kittinger to break the record he set 52 years ago for the longest jump. The effort began in 2005 but was put on hold in 2010 while a legal challenge was sorted out. The dispute was settled out of court, a Red Bull spokesperson told AVweb, and the team is now making final preparations for the record attempt, to take place in Roswell, N.M. Felix Baumgartner, a certificated helicopter and balloon pilot and record-setting B.A.S.E. jumper, will make the jump.

Kittinger was an Air Force test pilot working with the space program when he made his record jump from 102,800 feet in 1960. He set three records that have never been surpassed — the fastest freefall, at 614 mph; freefall from the highest altitude; and longest time in freefall, 4 minutes and 36 seconds. At the time, he also set a record for highest manned balloon flight, but that record was broken in 1961 during a Navy test flight to 113,740 feet. The Stratos team aims to break all four of those records. Specially developed camera systems will document the mission from the balloon and from the ground, and will webcast the jump live online at Click here for a five-minute video about the project.