View Full Version : I saw fire in the sky. Goodbye to the fighters at Lambert

07-24-2009, 8:56 PM
One day around the summer of 1972 in St. Louis I was mowing the grass in the back yard when I heard jets taking off from Lambert Airport, only these jets sounded different, not the usual F-4 Phantoms that normally rattled our windows. I stopped pushing the mower to look up and see what was launching off the departure end of the runway. To my utter amazement 2 jets that were taking off side by side suddenly pulled straight up vertical and went full burner up until I couldn't hardly see them anymore. I was so amazed I about cut my foot off with the mower. No fighter plane had ever done that before that I had seen.

I ran into the house to call dad at work (McDonnel Douglas) to ask what in the heck those 2 jets were. F-15 Eagles pop said. Zulu takeoff I later learned they called it, pilots had to get clearance from the tower to do it. Took my breath away.

Several weeks ago the last of the NG fighter squadron shut the hangar doors at Lambert. The windows shake no more after 50 years.