Timeless Voices: T R Swartz

P1250891ec1I had the fortunate pleasure to conduct several interviews for the Timeless Voices program at AirVenture 2009 here is the one I did  with T.R. Swartz.

TR set a milestone in Naval Aviation history when he shot down a Mig during an air to air confrontation using Zuni air to ground rockets over North Vietnam.

To this day he still has a special aura around him.



  1. I’ve never met Mr. Swartz but as a member of Skyhawk.org and the Skyhawk Study Group he’s been gracious enough to answer questions about details from his shootdown of the MiG; being that he’s probably sick of answering the same questions over the years I commend him for putting up with us! He is a true American hero for his service during a war that was so mismanaged the hierarchy should’ve been court martialed and the civilian leadership impeached. God bless our vets, especially the Vietnam vets; respect for them is LONG overdue.


  2. Gerald:
    This brings back memories for me. In the late ’80s, early ’90s, while a reporter for the Houston Chronicle, I was moonlighting with the sadly lamented Combat Jets Flying Museum. Owner Jim Robinson had assembled a “squadron” consisting of a T-33, a pair of F-86s, a Hawker Hunter Mk. 52, a Mig-15 and Mig-21, a CF-104D and, last but certainly not least, an A-4B, which, due to the similarity to the C model, we painted in the markings of Lt. Swarz a/c from VA-76 when he shot down his Mig with the Zuni.
    I was the researcher for Combat Jets, among other things, and I had to come up with the correct markings for the a/c. IIRC, Swarz had been in F-8s before, and had the “tiger” in him when he came to the attack community.
    Anyway, when Jim tired of the constant harrassment of the FAA, he broke up this unique collection of flying jets, giving most to the EAA. Last I heard, the A-4 was not well cared for and no longer in flying condition. If this is the same A-4 and it is flying, that would be wonderful.
    Among our fine pilots at CJFM were NASA test pilot and F-104 and SR-71 IP Ed Schneider, with whom I stay in touch, and Space Shuttle Commander “Hoot” Gibson, whom I understand still flies the former CJ MiG-21 for the EAA, just as he did for CJFM.
    Thanks for the photo and reminder, Gerald. Those were happy days for me, and I shall never forget those F-104 and T-33 rides I used to get while working for such a fine organization.

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