When Air Force Veteran Greg Feest took off in his F-117 Jan. 16, 1991, there was a 50/50 chance he wasn’t coming back.
Iraq was one of the most heavily defended airspaces in history. According to the Gulf War Air Power Survey, there were 972 anti-aircraft artillery sites, 2,404 guns and 6,100 mobile guns. There were also surface-to-air missiles: 6,500 SA-7s, 400 SA-9s, 192 SA-13s, and 288 SA-14s.
Pilots spent months planning operations, developing routes and making target lists during Operation Desert Shield. During that planning, the numbers were grim. For the 12 F-117s that left Jan. 16, commanders said six might not return.
Most spouses didn’t know when the Desert Storm air war started and watched TV coverage from the states. Bridget McGovern – Feest’s wife and herself an Air Force Veteran – knew hours before. She watched from a command center at their…