About The Author

Colonel Phil Handley earned his commission and wings through the Aviation Cadet program in 1959. He was a distinguished graduate from pilot training, fighter upgrade training and instructor pilots school. He "flew the line" for all but eleven months of a twenty-six year career, during which he accumulated over 7,000 flying hours in aircraft vintages F-86 Sabre through F-15 Eagle, including an early career stint in the C-130A Hercules. He flew 275 combat missions during two tours in Southeast Asia in the F-4D and F-4E. During his career he commanded the 22nd Tactical Fighter Squadron, was Chief of USAFE Standardization and Evaluation, was the 1st Tactical Fighter Wing Deputy Commander for Operations, and Commanding Officer of the 405th Tactical Training Wing. He is a graduate of Air Command and Staff College, the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, and the U.S. Army War College. Colonel Handley is a member of The Red River Valley Fighter Pilot's Association (River Rats), and a MiG Killer credited with the highest speed air-to-air gun kill in the history of aviation. He is currently a featured motivational speaker listed on the Texas Speakers Bureau, www.texasspeakersbureau.com/phil-handley .

Figure 2 - Colonel Phil "Hands" Handley
United States Air Force (Retired)

On the occasion of his retirement in 1984, his awards included 21 Air Medals, 3 Distinguished Flying Crosses, and the Silver Star. Colonel Handley and his wife Solvejg live in Lake Kiowa, Texas.