That Time When an Exchange Pilot Shot down a U.S. Navy F-4 with an F-4
The National Interest -

Dave Svajda

History, Europe


We were the target for the last intercept.

Date: Aug. 17, 1978

Location: In the Med about 80 nm south of Marseille, France

Squadron: VF-74, flying F-4s in CVW-17 aboard USS Forrestal (CV-59) 

Target pilot: Sammy Bonnano (USN)

Target RIO: Dave “Fly” Svajda (checking the spelling, it’s Svajda) 

Shooter / USAF pilot: Jim Simons, on an exchange tour (Greyhound)

Shooter’s RIO: Scot Callaway (Bugs) 

The weapon was an AIM-9H.

Narrative from the target RIO, Fly...

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