Photo of Mike Jackson

WACO lecture eyes close air support in Vietnam

In Historic WACO Field, NAHA Events, NAHA News /

TROY, Ohio—Lt Col Mike Jackson, USAF (Ret), who flew 210 combat missions as a forward air controller in Vietnam, will speak about his experiences in close air support on Thursday, May 7 at the WACO Air Museum.

Forward air controllers were responsible for scouting, targeting and controlling all Air Force airstrikes involving troops in contact engagements in South Vietnam. Jackson will share the evolution of airpower as the military discovered an all-jet Air Force was not effective in jungle guerrilla warfare.

Jackson earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart, nine Air Medals and numerous other decorations.  He flew fighter, trainer, observation, and bomber aircraft in addition to holding Air Force command positions.  Following his 23-year career, he spent 13 years as executive director of the National Aviation Hall of Fame at Wright-Patterson AFB, leaving as executive director emeritus.

In 2004, Jackson finished his critically acclaimed Vietnam memoir Naked In Da Nangwhich became the inspiration to the 10-plus year series of Operation Welcome Home celebrations for Vietnam veterans. He has since co-authored two additional books and appeared on two seasons of the PBS/Discovery/Military Channel series “Legends of Airpower” and the Smithsonian Channel’s “Unbelievable Flying Objects.” He is a popular public speaker and television/radio resource on topics related to Vietnam and veterans’ issues.

This series in made possible in part by Dayton Power and Lights. There is no charge for the event. Donations are accepted to benefit the WACO Historical Society. The WACO Air Museum is located at 1865 South County Road 25A, Troy, OH 45373. Visit for more information or call (937) 335-9226.

WACO lecture eyes close air support in Vietnam
1865 South County Road 25A, Troy, OH 45373