Third Distinguished Flying Cross…

 

SUBMITTED November 11th, 2019
by DAL
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Distinguished Flying Cross

Some military awards are handed out like gold stars in an elementary grade school. All you have to do is show up and you can get one…The Good Conduct Medal comes to mind. The Distinguished Flying Cross is not such an award. The DFC is an award of valor presented to airmen who have distinguished themselves in aerial operations. Forrest earned more than one of these during his tour in Vietnam. This is about his third DFC.

dfc copy

The citation for his award reads:
Major Forrest B. Fenn distinguished himself by heroism while participating in aerial
flight as an F-100 pilot in the Delta Region of South Vietnam on 24 August 1968.

On that date, Major Fern, using the call sign limit 52, was flying as wingman and pilot
in a flight of two F-100s on a close air support mission.The target was troops in
close contact and an unknown number of active automatic weapons positions When Limit
51 Flight arrived in the target area, a flight of two F-100s were bombing targets
which were in tree lines on both sides of a small canal. The friendlies had already
marked their positions with red smoke and were located 50, 150, and 200 meters from
the active enemy gun positions.

After one of the F-100 aircraft was hit with automate weapons fire , they departed for home. The forward air controller (FAC) , Andy 76, briefed limit 51 Flight on all aspects of the target including the heavy ground fire and the dangerous proximity of friendly forces.

Because it was not feasible to drop the four M-117 high drag bombs on the targets nearest the friendlies, Major Fenn was instructed by Andy 76 to move 150 meters east and hit the enemy firing from a position on the south side of the canal. The exact target position was described, marked with a white phosphorus rocket, and Major Fenn was cleared in. Although the automatic weapons fire continued from at least three positions, Major Fenn, with total disregard for his own personal safety, delivered two 750 pound bombs from 500 feet which landed precisely on the target destroying the automatic weapons position.

On his next two bomb passes, Major Fern delivered two more 750 pound bombs with equally devastating results on an enemy location just across the canal south of the first target with all bombs expended, he was cleared to move west and strafe the enemy gun location 50 meters from the friendly forces. Because of the seriousness of the tactical situation on the ground, Major Fenn elected to concentrate his strafe in hopes of silencing the guns
that were still active in several positions.

On his first strafe pass, with airspeed in excess of 510 knots, Major Fenn fired a burst of 350 rounds of 20MM high explosive incendiary. Andy 76 reported the fire to be “exactly on target.”

During the pull out Major Fenn felt his aircraft jolt with the impact of three hits in the fuselage. One bullet entered the engine accessory section, starting an oil fire which immediately filled the cockpit with smoke. The other two hits were sustained in the forward fuselage fuel tank causing two small holes and a hole “big enough to put a football in.

After declaring an emergency, Major Fenn turned his crippled F-1OO toward Binh Thuy
Air Base 4O miles to the south. A quick fuel check revealed 4200 pounds total
remaining. However, the forward fuselage tank, which feeds the engine, had lost over
1000 pounds in less than two minutes. Major Fern initiated emergency procedures which
were successful in removing some of the smoke that was burning his eyes. The extreme
critical situation caused by fuel pouring overboard faster than the boost pumps could
replenish the fuel tank prompted Major Fenn to level his aircraft at 6000 feet and
throttle back to reduce fuel consumption.

With 33 miles remaining, the forward fuel tank had depleted to 400 pounds which is 200 pounds below emergency fuel. Although the runway was 4000 feet shorter than is normally required for F-100 operation and realizing that he could not use power required to establish a normal approach, Major Fenn elected to continue in an attempt to save the aircraft. With four miles still remaining, on a straight-in gliding approach, Major Fern called “zero fuel,” and the engine flamed out approximately 1/4 mile from the end of the runway. He realized it would be extremely close, but decided to attempt a “dead stick” landing to save the F-100. Major Fern landed in the first 200 feet of the runway and made an approach end engagement of the BAK-9 barrier to insure that he stayed on the short narrow run-way.

The professionalism exhibited by Major Fenn in an extreme emergency situation
not only dealt the hostile force a devastating blow, but also saved a valuable combat
aircraft. The outstanding heroism and selfless devotion to duty displayed by Major
Fenn reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

JOHN S. RIVERS, Lt Col, USAF
Commander

Forrest’s handwritten note added to the citation:
The Viet Cong blew up the F-100 that night. So much for saving the aircraft!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emailing Forrest?…Please be Considerate…

 

SUBMITTED OCTOBER 25th, 2019
by DAL

 

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I recently spent a couple of days with Forrest in Santa Fe. We had an opportunity to chat about many things. First off I want to say that Forrest is in good health but both his hearing and his vision are weakening. Additionally, Peggy is frail. but in good spirits. Forrest spends much of his time caring for and attending to Peggy. 

At this point in his life the 200 emails per day that searchers feel compelled to write him are, by and large, a distraction from more important duties. He uses a magnifying glass to read his email. As you can imagine, it takes a significant amount of time to get through email that way.

What Forrest wants…and needs…is to receive fewer emails, from you, from me…from searchers everywhere. Believe it when I say that there are some searchers who write Forrest several times each day…with nothing more than idle chit-chat. He told me that this has become quite tedious.

Other searchers send him their solutions, hoping for a response that will verify or nullify their ideas. Forrest will never answer such emails with remarks that could support or thwart any solution. To do so would be to give the sender information that no one else has. He refuses to do that. So, sending Forrest a solution is pointless.

If you have the chest in your possession, Forrest certainly wants to know that…you can remain anonymous. He has no desire to know who found it. If you find the chest there will be ample ways to prove that you have it without disclosing your identity and Forrest looks forward to that information.

I realize that it is difficult to believe that I am speaking about these things with any authority from Forrest. But Forrest asked me to post this note to everyone in hopes that we would all cut back on sending unimportant email…

In the past Forrest has announced twice that he would be cutting back on responses to email. Those announcements never affected the number of emails he received. This is a third attempt to cut down the number of emails he receives.

It would be easy for him to just hit the delete button on any email he does not want to read…but the problem is…the email he deletes without reading may be important…so he reads most…

The solution to this problem is not for Forrest to read fewer emails…but rather, for us to respect his wishes and send less…self edit…be aware of his need to spend less time at his computer.

I think we can do that…

Sincerely,

-dal

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forrest Gets Mail – 24

wi

Hello Mr Fenn,
My oldest son and I who had a rocky relationship due to his choice of wives and her inability  to let me just be a grandparent which cut off communication, began communicating with me because of your poem .

All excited with a “mom I’m obsessed by this”  we have begun communicating regularly about your poem and clues.

In a nutshell Mr Fenn, you have reunited a mother and son.  And hopefully I’ll see my grandkids soon.
I don’t anticipate a relationship with my daughter in law which is fine. Civility for the kids is my wish and we can on that.

I really need to know if the treasure has been located.
We can find other adventures now that we both know we truly love this sort of thing.  He never had any patience as a child or young man so his intentions on this I thought would be short lived. They are not.  He is really ready to go!

Being of little means and less $$, my husband and I took in three grand daughters from our middle son who was an addict. I’m not ready to burn gas from Green Bay WI,  home of the frozen tundra to follow 9 clues to anything.

Thus looking for you to be  honest and it will go no further if the chase must continue even if found for all your fans.   I’d prefer to bark up other trees is all if it has.

You already have me my treasure with getting my son back. But he still wants to find yours. I’ll follow and lead to ends of the earth for him. Just not if the end of the road on this one is a wasted trip.

Thank you for giving of yourself in a very stressful and sad point in your life. I took care of both of my parents as they took their last breaths from lung cancer. I understand the scary part and the can’t take it with you . All we leave here with is who we love and hopefully a piece of ourselves they hold onto.
God bless,
Joanie

——————————

Joanie,
As of this posting the treasure chest is still where I hid it. Good luck to you and your son. f

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forrest Gets Mail – 23


Wolverine

Johnny and Donna were fortunate enough to experience something very rare in the Rockies. I have spent a lot of time there and have never been so lucky, but maybe next time…f

Dear Mr. Fenn,

We returned today from our most recent BOTG and wanted to tell you about a very exciting discovery.  While we were in the wood yesterday morning, Donna and I encountered a fully grown wolverine!  As a wildlife biologist/research scientist, I can assure you that this was an incredible experience…something that is too rare to even consider happening by chance alone.  The Chase put us in the right spot at the right time.  We will cherish  this MARVEL GAZE forever.  Donna found a newspaper article from last year that details the discovery of wolverines in the Wind River Range for the 1st time in over a century.  There is also a short video in the article.  Here’s the link;

https://trib.com/outdoors/male-and-female-wolverines-documented-in-the-wind-river-range/article_2e2cf7e2-a347-5fc0-a0e1-8b731be02514.html

We anticipated being able to go straight to the spot that we’ve had an eye on since last summer to search for Indulgence.  Unfortunately, foot travel became too dangerous and we were forced to turn back after only getting 1/3 of the way across the raging flow.  We are planning to return as soon as conditions improve.

Sincerely,

Johnny & Donna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forrest Gets Mail – 22

key

This email came in today and I am posting it here with permission from the writer. How do you help someone who says they don’t need help, when you know they do? f

———————–

Dear Forrest,

I want to thank you for just being you. I am a single mom of 5 kids and I raised all my kids the hard way pay check to pay check. I never had money to send my kids to the activities that kids do baseball soccer football cheerleading that kind of stuff that you got to pay a lot of money for. So anyway I instead found ways to to keep my kids entertained. And that was bottle digging and the dig is easy but doing the research of a town to find where a privy to dig up the privy to find a bottles doing the history was the thrill for me and it taught my kids a lot of stuff about Maps and history of the town they lived in. I took them in the woods to teach them to mushroom hunt for morels. We all went camping fishing in our little town. I would maybe have 5 bucks for gas and we would go drive around Missouri and look for creeks to walk in to look for arrowheads or get fish put them in our homemade fish tank, And so this is how you help me my kids all grew up they are all out on their own all 5 and they are all doing good with life. No drugs no serious drinking you know they’re just normal kids all five. I don’t know how I got so lucky cuz some moms out there are dealing with having to raise their grandbaby cuz the kids are on drugs, sad. Well after all kids left I was alone I spent my whole life taking care of my kids and when the last one left I felt so alone. I was like making plans to just weather away and die because I had no kids to take care of anymore. And then you came along and your story. Well I am still a little too poor to afford your book but one day I will be able to and I’ll get to read your book I’m excited about that one day. Well I got to see a lot of it. Your book off of you tube…And your treasure hunt got me back into looking up history learning about the Indians and the brown trout how beautiful Yellowstone is I don’t get to see it in person but I do get to see it through other people’s cameras the GoPros whatever they use to film stuff. It got me out of feeling sorry for myself and getting back to living. And what you said about you can shut one door and open other, So once again I am living and that is why I felt the need to write you and thank you. I do love the Thrill of the chase I didn’t get to read your book but just the thrill of the chase of looking up history in finding something that’s never been found. I do know about your poem that you have no x letter in your poem and. X marks the spot..That is really neat. Your kewl. Take care and thanks for being you.

Thunderose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forrest Gets Mail – 21

canada map vector

A dear friend sent me an email today to announce the birth of a grandchild. She sounded like she had just won the lotto.
Here is part of that email. Maybe there will be a rush of treasure hunters across our northern border. What do you think? f


Forrest, guess what…here in Canada someone heard your poem/treasure story and they formed a company that hid 3 treasures in 3 cities and wrote a poem for each city/treasure. One in Vancouver, British Columbia, one in Edmonton, Alberta and one in Calgary, Alberta. Each treasure chest is worth approximately $100,000. They had several writers/poets who wrote the clues for each of the three poems. They are selling the poems for each city, $25 each or $45 each with bonus clues. They were hoping that the sales for the poems would offset the initial treasures combined total of $300,000 in gold and silver Canadian coins. The poems were released on June 1, 2019. As of June 2 the Edmonton treasure had been discovered.

I’d say they might should have just asked for your poem/clue writing abilities in order to elude their treasures searchers a touch longer. At least it got people out of there house for a day, perhaps the other two cities will be slightly more challenging but I believe neither will outlast yours!!

Have a wonderful day,
Nelika

 

 

 

 

Forrest Gets Mail – 20

fgmbl

Mr. Fenn,
I have thoroughly enjoyed the treasures of your stories, and thank you for sharing them. I am blind, and my friends tell me that Ray Charles and I “look alike”. I am pretty suspicious of their use of those words.
My computer can read me your book as I turn the pages, but only the text. I can not see any of the photos or non-text items. Does this hurt my chances of solving your poem in any way?
If I should happen to come up with some sort of solution, I have people that can take me. I may even pretend to solve it just have an excuse to smell the waters you mention and feel the grasses and rocks under my feet.
I am already richer for having experienced your guided tour of your travels through life.
Thank you,
Fred
———————————
Well Fred, because you can’t look at a map you certainly are at a disadvantage. I know where the treasure is hidden, but if I were blind even I couldn’t go to that spot. Sorry. Thanks for listening to my book. f

 

 

 

 

Forrest Gets Mail – 19

“The virtue lies in the struggle, not in the prize.”
Richard Monckton Milnes

The treasure chest is still out there waiting to be found. It is not easy to
find, but the fortunate bi-products of searching seem to come from all
directions. f
——————————

Dear Mr Fenn,
I have found your treasure. Not the treasure that you hid but the treasure I
found is worth much much more. Let me explain, many years ago I was going
through some tough times; struggling through college, 3 jobs and barely
making it. I made a tough decision back then to give up a baby for adoption
to a lovely couple. The time flew by, as it always does, and 18 years later
I received a message on Facebook from a young man stating that I’m his
biological father and that he would like to meet me. After having a lifetime
of doubts as to if I did the right thing by giving up my child for adoption,
he turned out to be an amazing young man. We finally met and it was
wonderful. One evening he called and mentioned your hidden treasure. We
talked about it quite a bit. We finally made the trip out west and spent an
entire week getting to know each other and looking for the treasure. Every
night we would talk about how we would spend the money if we found it. It
was the best week of my life. We found the treasure mr Fenn. Only it wasn’t
the one you hid. This one is worth far more than anything in your chest.
It’s getting to spend the rest of my life with my son. We are planning
another week now to go and look for your treasure again and I can’t wait.
Thank you Mr Fenn.

Sincerely
David L

 

Forrest Gets Mail – 18

hi Forrest, ran across an old article, about the death of
Lt. Col. John H.I. Morse Sr., the article mentioned
your call sign, was that chosen by you or the
military and what was it for
thanks M
( Article is HERE )

———————-

Mary, thanks for the email about L/C John Morse and Litter 81. To answer your question:

Litter was the call sign of the 308th Fighter Squadron at Tuy Hoa, South Vietnam. The 8 indicated that it was the 8th  combat mission of the day for that squadron. The 1 meant that I was leading the flight of F-100s. My wingmen were Litter 82, 3, and 4. Anyone hearing those call signs on the radio knew where the planes were from and could easily find out who was flying them.

The aircraft I ejected from on that day (20 Dec, 1968) was an F-100D, #647. The maintenance  crew called it the “Hanger Queen,” because it was nearly always broken.
Thanks for the info about L/C Morse. I met him just that one time when his helicopter hoisted me out of the jungle in Laos. You don’t forget guys like that. it would be nice to know where Charlie Morse is now. I would like to talk with him. f

 

 

 

Forrest Gets Mail – 17

Mr. Fenn,
My students have a question for you. Since you have spent much time in the west around Yellowstone, do you have any personal experiences with cattle ranching and cattle drives?

Franklin

Franklin,
Many years ago, my good friend J. Evetts Haley (the writer), invited me to help him brand calves on his ranch in the panhandle of Texas. It was 103 degrees in August and they built a big fire to heat the branding irons. There was no cooling breeze. After the cowboys roped a calf, it was my job to run up and throw the poor thing on its side. I think every one of those critters kicked me in the nose. After the branding, the calf jumped up and ran off, and I had to do it all over again. That day was so hot and sweaty I lost 6 pounds. All of my aspirations for being a rancher were used up that day and I never wanted to see a branding iron again. Please tell your students to study hard so they don’t have to grow up to be a cowboy. f