Vietnam Voices – Attack pilot

November 30, 2020 | By Jim Stovall | Filed in: Vietnam Voices.

Episode Summary

Bill Beaty, an attack pilot in the U.S. Navy, tells what it was like to fly bombing missions over North Vietnam in 1970. “I got shot at a lot,” he says.

Episode Notes

William Beaty retired from the U.S. Navy as a Naval Aviator, serving in-country from November 1970 to June 1971.  He was part of Attack Squadron 25 aboard the U.S.S. Ranger.  

He enlisted at age 19, entered Naval ROTC at Vanderbilt University in 1963, and was commissioned as ensign in September 1967. Bill flew 155 combat missions in an A-7 Corsair, an attack aircraft, which he selected because “I always wanted to fly low and fast.” 

This interview was conducted on August 14, 2019, by Ed Caudill at the Blount County Public Library.  The full interview can be heard at HTTP://

Vietnam Voices is a project of the Blount County Public Library in Maryville, TN, and supported by the Blount County Friends of the Library. Two volumes of interviews with Vietnam veterans have been published and are available on Amazon at these links:

Vietnam Voices: Stories of East Tennesseans Who Served in Vietnam, 1965-1975 (volume 1)

Vietnam Voices: Stories of Tennesseans Who Served in Vietnam, 1965-1975 (volume 2)

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