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“We’ve hit! Eject!” I yelled to Mike Lane, my backseat co-pilot. I knew that plane was going down-both engine fire lights were flashing and the plane was out of control. Mike didn’t respond so I pulled the ejection handle and popped out of the F-4 Phantom like a cork out of a champagne bottle. They had fired two Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAMs) at us. The second one blew up right below me. I saw this big red, orange and black fire ball growing; it looked like the gates of hell. I couldn’t believe I was headed right for it. I just had enough time to close my eyes and hold my breath before I felt a hot flash as I fell thought the center of the fireball.”
In the blink of an eye, Capt. Cordier went from ‘hot shot’ fighter pilot at the top of his game, to enduring more than six years in cruel, North Vietnamese prisons. Like Job in the Bible, he would lose everything: possessions, family, friends, and freedom. But God would not forget him. In due course, he’d be lifted out of this pit, to an abundant new life; one full of purpose and meaning, beyond what he could ever have imagined.
A Fighter Pilot’s Tale (Book)
by Col. Ken Cordier (Ret) with Chris Snidow