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Above Average


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CDR D.D. Smith, USN (ret.) packed serious punch into a 21-year Navy career - way above average even for the Navy's best! During his career he flew 33 types of aircraft, including the F-14, F-4, F-8, A-7, A-5 and A-4. He tested the Swedish Viggen fighter in Sweden and was the 24th pilot to fly that airplane. He narrowly escaped with his life when he ejected from the first-ever spin in an F-14. He was the lead pilot in the spin tests of the A-7. CDR Smith accumulated more than 800 carrier arrested landings (196 at night) during the five years he spent on aircraft carriers. He commanded an A-7 squadron and managed to squeeze in an MSA from George Washington University. His 138 combat missions in Vietnam were flown during some of the hottest months of the shooting war over the North. Above Average - Naval Aviation the Hard Way - is a slice of the life and times of someone who had a front row seat. Today he is in great health with all limbs attached. He lives an active life with his wife, Jo, in Southern California.

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