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PC
04-13-2016, 01:43 PM
I knew Daniel "Chappie" James was a bad*** from his exploits with the Tuskegee Airmen in WWII and flying Phantoms in Vietnam.

I'd never heard this one.


from: https://www.wearethemighty.com/articles/5-seldom-told-tales-air-force-legends

https://www.wearethemighty.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Chappie_James-e1422376391905.jpg

"Wheelus Air Force Base was located right outside the city of Tripoli in Libya. In 1968, a coup brought then 27-year-old Muammar al-Qaddafi to power. The young dictator demanded the closing of the American bases in what he now considered his country.

Before the base could be formally closed and handed to the Libyans, Qaddafi ordered a column of half-tracks to drive at full speed right through the middle of the base’s housing area. Qaddafi himself waited outside of Wheelus’ main gate for the armored column to return.

Unfortunately for Qaddafi, the commander of Wheelus Air Force Base was already legendary – he was Colonel Daniel “Chappie” James, Jr., one of the original Tuskegee Airmen. “Chappie” was a veteran of World War II and had also flown missions in Korea and Vietnam. And he was not happy with the Libyans. When he found out what was happening, James strapped his .45 onto his belt and went right to the base’s main gate. He immediately shut down the barrier and walked to face off with Qaddafi. The Tuskegee Airman was not impressed with the dictator.

“He had a fancy gun and holster and he kept his hand on it,” James recalled. He ordered Qaddafi to move his hand away from the weapon. The dictator complied with Colonel James. “If he had pulled that gun, he never would have cleared the holster.”

Qaddafi never sent another column."

Basil
04-13-2016, 02:33 PM
I had the privilege of serving under Gen James when he was Commander-In-Chief (CINC) of NORAD. I was, at the time, a computer maintenance man on the NORAD SAGE Air Defense Computer system at the time. He died way too young (at 58).

DrEntropy
04-13-2016, 05:22 PM
I never got to meet him, got to Ubon late in the game ('73~'74) but 8th TFW still had "the buzz" from James' and (Olds') Bolo op. I got to go on hops with those guys as "backseat baggage". Never saw a MiG tho... not that I wanted to.

mikephillips
04-14-2016, 11:51 AM
Think how northern Africa history might have been different had he reached for that pistol.