Sorry, please start again. Say, with SAMs, your first impression of SAMs was that...
Okay. My first impression of SAMs when I approached Hanoi
was that they were beautiful. Because I was well back in the stream. So from the SAMs being fired at the people very far in front of me I could see them going up.
And at first it was very much like a panorama way in the distance. It was something you could sit back detached, and watch like a fireworks display. And here they were going up, we could see them explode in the dark across the sky, and as we got closer through, which seemed to happen quite slowly, because as your mind races, events kind of slow down, and we could see them coming closer and closer and after a while you became used to the fact that sometimes they'd go off to the side, and once in a while one would come close.
But there were so many aircraft in the air, and so many SAMs going up and all over the place that really not that many really could very close to you. We did not feel in imminent danger all the time. But you could see many of them, maybe forty, that night, I could see, but from a distance most of them. Although many of them were quite close too. Now this was night three.
They had shot their best SAMs, so to speak, on nights one and and night two, and it suffered a lot of damage, so we were not seeing the best they had to offer. By the end of the war, toward night eight or nine or ten, they were shooting the worst SAMs they had, they suffered terrible damages. We could see SAMs blowing up on the ground. Because these were SAMs that were the worst they had. They would go out of control. They would go up and spin, they were using the bottom of the barrel. We had no fear at the end of the war. The SAMs, we could just watch them blowing up, at wrong altitudes, blowing up on the pad, failing, you know.