By James U. Cross
When Lyndon Baines Johnson desired to cross someplace, there has been no preventing him. This dynamic president known as for Air strength One as others summon a taxi—at a moment's discover, regardless of the hour or the elements. And the fellow who made yes that LBJ obtained his journey was once basic James U. move, the president's hand-picked pilot, most sensible army assistant, and private confidante. one of many few Air strength One pilots to have a place, concurrently, within the White residence, basic pass is usually the one member of LBJ's internal circle who has no longer publicly provided his memories of the president. during this publication, he is going at the checklist, making a interesting, behind-the-scenes portrait of America's complicated, frequently contradictory, continually larger-than-life thirty-sixth president.
General go tells an engrossing tale. as well as piloting Air strength One all over the world, he served President Johnson in a number of capacities, together with directing the army workplace within the White residence; handling a mystery two-million-dollar presidential emergency fund; supervising the presidential retreat at Camp David, the president's complete transportation fleet, and the presidential bomb shelters; working the White residence Mess; hiring White condominium social aides, together with the president's destiny son-in-law, Charles Robb; and writing condolence letters to the households of squaddies killed in Vietnam. This wide-ranging, around-the-clock entry to President Johnson allowed pass to witness occasions and proportion moments that upload colour and intensity to our figuring out of America's arguably so much challenging and unpredictable president.
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Additional info for Around the World with LBJ: My Wild Ride as Air Force One Pilot, White House Aide, and Personal Confidant
I’m in Oak Hill right now, doing 90 miles an hour on Highway 290,” he said. I told him we were ready to go and the weather was fine, but my stomach churned even more. Oak Hill, an Austin bedroom community, was a good 20-minute drive from Bergstrom, even at breakneck speed. ” His tardiness would eliminate what little chance remained of getting to Florida on time. Dejected, I walked toward the plane, trying not to think of the dire consequences. But before I reached the airplane, a big Lincoln convertible came roaring up with Johnson, alone, at the wheel.
Cabinet members and other VIPs, who had been happy to fly in our two-engine Convairs, four-engine Lockheed Constellations, and Douglas DC-6s, called for the jets to be made available 22 Around the W o rld w i th LBJ immediately even though Air Force authorities hadn’t planned on putting them officially into service until early 1962. The planes carried a crew of four and up to eight passengers (though later two of the planes were reconfigured to fit thirteen). S. Air Force Reserves, even wanted to take a JetStar up for a test flight.
I called my contacts at the Pentagon and ran through all of my options: Could we fly a C-130 Hercules cargo plane to the island with an air bag full of fuel for the JetStar? No. Too dangerous. How about loading trucks full of jet fuel and flying them in on a C-130? No. The tank trucks would expand at high altitude, and fuel would leak out. I threw out one last, desperate idea: What if we brought in a KC-97, the big plane normally used for airborne refueling? But instead of fueling in mid-air, we’d just land it and use it as a fuel station for the JetStar.
Around the World with LBJ: My Wild Ride as Air Force One Pilot, White House Aide, and Personal Confidant by James U. Cross