The Men of Misty

By Don Shepperd, Misty 34

“Misty” was the radio callsign used by the F-100F Fast Forward Air Controllers (Fast FACs) during the Vietnam War. There were 157 pilots officially assigned to fly missions over North Vietnam from 15 June 1967 – 19 May 1970. 21 other attached pilots flew occasional missions. There were also Intelligence Officers, Flight Surgeons, and Maintenance Officers assigned. It was a small, tight-knit group of special people given a difficult task in a terrible war.

Of the 157 Mistys,

  • 34 were shot down (22%).
  • 8 others were shot down when not flying with Misty (total 28%).
  • 2 Mistys were shot down twice.
  • 8 KIA, killed in acion in Vietnam
  • 4 POWs,
  • 1 Medal of Honor winner,
  • 2 Air Force Chiefs of Staff,
  • 6 general officers,
  • The winner of the Collier Trophy, the Louis Bleriot Medal, the Presidential Citizen’s Medal of Honor,
  • The first man to fly non-stop un-refueled around the world.
  • and as of April 2016, 59 are now deceased.

By any measure this was an unusual group of men.

At the height of the war almost 550,000 American and 800,000 South Vietnamese battled the North Vietnamese and Vietcong in pitched battles on the ground and in the air.
Over 300,000 American troops were wounded.  A total of 651 POWs returned from the war.   Four were Mistys:

Bud Day

Bob Craner

Guy Gruters

P.K. Robinson

 58,229 names of those who gave their lives for their country are engraved on the Vietnam Wall in Washington D.C.  Eight  of those names were Mistys:

Howard “Howie” Williams
Panel 45E – Line 32

Michael “Mike” McElhanon
Panel 48W – Line 29

John F. Overlock
Panel 48W – Line 29

Laurent “Lee” Gourley
Panel 20W – Line 118

Jefferson “Scotty” Dotson
Panel 20W – Line 118

Patrick “Pat” Carroll
Panel 16W – Line 19

Lawrence “Larry” Whitford
Panel 16W – Line 21


Clyde Seiler

Panel 28W – Line 64

The Mistys are legend.