WHAT THE CAPTAIN REALLY MEANS...
(Serious, professional and very monotone American voice.) "The following statements were recorded when a civilian correspondent interviewed a shy, unassuming Air Force Phantom jet fighter pilot. So the correspondent would not misconstrue the pilot's replies, a Wing Information Officer was on hand as a monitor to make certain that the real Air Force story would be told. The Captain was first asked his opinion of the F4C Phantom.
Pilot: "Sh*t, it's so friggin maneuverable you can fly up your own ass with it."
WIO: "What the Captain means is that he has found the F4C highly maneuverable at all altitudes and he considers it an excellent aircraft for all missions assigned."
Reporter: "I suppose Captain you've flown a certain number of missions in North Vietnam. What did you think of the SAMs used by the North Vietnamese?"
Pilot: "Why those bastards couldn't hit a bull in the ass with a base fiddle. We fake the sh*t out of them. They're no sweat."
WIO: "What the Captain means is that the surface to air missiles around Hanoi pose a serious threat to our air operations and the pilots have a healthy respect for them."
Reporter: "I suppose Captain you've flown missions to the South. What kind of ordinance do you use, and what kinds of targets to you hit?"
Pilot: "Well, I'll tell you, mostly we aim at kicking the sh*t out of Vietnamese villages, and my favourite ordinance is napalm. Man, that stuff just sucks the air out of their friggin lungs and makes a son of a bitchin' fire."
WIO: "What the Captain means is that air strikes in South Vietnam are often against Viet Cong structures and all air operations are under the positive control of Forward Air Controllers, or FACs. The ordinance employed is conventional 500 and 750 pound bombs and 20 millimetre cannon fire."
Reporter: "I suppose you've spent an R&R in Hong Kong. What were your impressions of the Oriental girls?"
Pilot: "Yeah, I went to Hong Kong. As for those Oriental broads - well, I don't care which way the runway runs, east or west, north or south - a piece of ass is a piece of ass."
WIO: "What the Captain means is that he found the delicately featured Oriental girls fascinating, and was very impressed with their fine manners and thinks their naivetÃ© is most charming."
Reporter: "Tell me Captain, have you flown any missions other than over North and South Vietnam?"
Pilot: "You bet your sweet ass I've flown other missions other than in North and South. We get fragged nearly every day for.. uh, those mothers over there throw everything at you but the friggin kitchen sink. Even the g**damned kids got slingshots."
WIO: "What the Captain means is that he has occasionally been scheduled to fly missions in the extreme western DMZ and he has a healthy respect for the flak in that area." (Translation: the 'extreme west' of the Demilitarized Zone was 'neutral' Laos, where most if not all of that section of the Ho Chi Minh Trail was located and where the Americans did not officially go.)
Reporter: "I understand that no one in the 12th Tactical Fighter Wing has got a MiG yet. What seems to be the problem?"
Pilot: "Why you screwhead! If you knew anything about what you were talking about, the problem is MiGs. If we got fragged by those peckerheads at 7th for those counters in MiG valley you could bet your ass we'd get some of those mothers. Those glory hounds at Ubon get all those frags while we settle for fighting the friggin war. Those mothers at Ubon are sitting on their fat asses killing MiGs and we get stuck with bombing the g**damned cabbage patches."
WIO: "What the Captain means is that each element of the 7th Air Force is responsible for doing their assigned job in the air war. Some units are assigned the job of neutralising enemy air strength but hunting out MiGs, and other elements are assigned bombing missions and interdiction of enemy supply routes."
Reporter: "Of all the targets you've hit in Vietnam, which one was the most satisfying?"
Pilot: "Oh, sh*t, it was getting fragged for that friggin suspected VC vegetable garden. I dropped napalm in the middle of the friggin pumpkins and cabbage, while my wingman splashed it real good with six of those 750 pound mothers and spread the fire al the way to the friggin beets and carrots."
WIO: "What the Captain means is that the great variety of tactical targets available throughout Vietnam make the F4C the perfect aircraft to provide flexible response."
Reporter: "What do you consider the most difficult target you've struck in North Vietnam?"
Pilot: "The friggin bridges. I must have dropped forty tons of bombs on those swaying bamboo mothers and I ain't hit one of the bastards yet."
WIO: "What the captain means is that interdicting bridges along enemy supply routes is very important and a quite difficult target. The best way to accomplish this task is to crater the approaches to the bridges."
Reporter: "I noticed in touring the base that you have aluminum matting on the taxiways. Would you care to comment on the effectiveness and usefulness in Vietnam?"
Pilot: "You're friggin right I'd like to make a comment. Most of us pilots are well hung, but sh*t, you don't know what hung is until you get hung up on one of those friggin bumps on that g**damned stuff."
WIO: "What the Captain means is that the aluminium matting is quite satisfactory as a temporary expedient, but requires some finesse in taxying and braking the aircraft."
Reporter: "Did you have an opportunity to meet your wife on leave in Honolulu, and did you enjoy the visit with her?"
Pilot: "Yeah, I met my wife in Honolulu, but I forgot to check the calendar, and so the whole five days were friggin well combat-proof. A completely dry run."
WIO: "What the captain means is that it was wonderful to get together with his wife and learn first hand about the family and how things were at home."
Reporter: "Thank you for your time, Captain."
Pilot: "Screw you, why don't you bastards print the real story instead of all that crap."
WIO: "What the Captain really means is that he enjoyed the opportunity to discuss his Tour with you."
Reporter: "One final question. Could you reduce your impression of the war into a simple phrase or statement, Captain?"
Pilot: "You bet your ass I can. It's a f**ked-up war."
WIO: "What the Captain means is it's a f**ked-up war."