"REUNION OVER HANOI"

BY PHILIP WEST

L/E 750. Signed and numbered by artist.

Size: 23 1/2" x 32"

Price:$165


Col. Ken Cordier and Col. Bob Buckey were classmates in high school and college in Akron, Ohio. After college, they both became USAF fighter pilots, and although the two school chums never served together, their careers took separate yet parallel paths - until December 1966. On 2 December 1966, then Capt. Ken Cordier and his back-seat pilot 1st Lt. Mike Lane, were flying with the 559th TFS out of Cam Ranh Bay when they were shot down and captured 85 miles NW of Hanoi. They were to languish in North Vietnamese prisons for the next six years, first listed as MIA, then years later as POW's.

Linebacker II was the code-name of the bombing offensive designed to force the North Vietnamese to agree to a ceasefire and peace accord. It was during the Linebacker II bombing campaign of December 1972, that then Maj. Bob Buckey and his back-seater, Capt. Dan Tibbets, flew over Hanoi with the 555 TFS out of Udorn, Thailand. Their mission was to provide MIG-CAP for the B-52 bombers which were delivering punishing blows to the communist regime's capital city. On the ground, Ken was unaware that his old friend was a part of that campaign which would result in gaining his and the other POW's freedom after enduring long years of torture and deprivation. Bob, on the other hand, had known for years that Ken was a POW. So, every time he flew "Downtown", Bob thought about Ken down there locked up in the infamous "Hanoi Hilton" and wondered when they would meet again.

The bombing campaign had the desired effect and the North Vietnamese signed the Paris Peace Accords in January 1973. Shortly thereafter, "Operation Homecoming" brought the POW's home to family, friends and freedom. Six months after his release, at a class reunion in Akron, Ken and Bob met and had a great time comparing war stories and resuming their old friendship.

Showing Maj. Bob Buckey as he pulls his F-4E Phantom II away from the Hanoi Hilton, this fine limited edition print is co-signed by the artist, along with former POW's Col. Ken Cordier, and Col. Mike Lane, and the pilot who made it a point to fly by the Hilton, Col. Bob Buckey, and WSO, Lt. C. Dan Tibbets.