One day Dick Keckler returned to Phu Bai from a mission and asked Doc Linkous if he qualified for a purple heart.  Doc asked where he was hit and "Keck" showed him a small spot between his eyes that literally had to be squeezed to get any blood from.  Doc Linkous said, "Keck, you've cut yourself worse than that shaving.  How did it happen?"  In response, without uttering a word, Keckler held up his flight helmet with a bullet still lodged in the visor and other apparent damage.  Seeing this, Doc Linkous said, "I think that qualifies you for a purple heart."

The next day, Keckler walked into the ready room and unzipped his flight suit to reveal a big Superman "S" painted on his tee shirt, proving he could stop speeding bullets.


Peter Dunev relates on 6 March 1999, "I was flying with "Keck" the day he got the round between his eyes.  I've got a great slide somewhere to show for it.  By the way, he hollered like crazy when he got hit.  Then he realized that dead men don't scream and he settled down.  Kind of funny in retrospect . . . . ."

Photo by, 1stLt. Peter Dunev

Submitted by:
    Larry "Slick" Britton, LtCol USMC(Ret)
    Peter, Dunev, former 1stLt. USMCR

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