This interesting award consists of a solid aluminum base and is mounted with an original control stick from an F-4 Phantom aircraft. The award is presented to a Chief Master Sargent named Edward B. Swieca serving with the 432 Tactical Reconnaissance wing in Udorn Thailand from 1968 through 1969. This award shows handling wear, but the trigger and buttons all function properly. The trigger provides a very satisfying click and there is something about the feel of it that just evokes the image of a MIG bursting into flames. It is really interesting to know what it feels like to pull the trigger after seeing the combat footage of these planes in action when I was a child. The center toggle on the control stick has some damage from careless handling in the past, but it still has range of motion.
There is enough information for someone to conduct a research project to find out more about this pilot. I have included some information I found regarding this TRW below. This piece would fit right in with a period flight helmet and some Vietnam era Aviation items. A very interesting item.....I think I want to listen to some Jimi Hendrix now...Measures approx 8"x4"x9"
"On 18 September 1966, the '''[[432d Wing|432nd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing]]''' (TRW) was activated and the 630th CSG was placed under the new wing and re-designated the 432nd CSG. It was organized in Southeast Asia in September 1966 to perform combat tactical reconnaissance. It added tactical fighter operations in October 1967, initially using fighters to provide combat air patrol and cover for unarmed reconnaissance planes, but later to fly strike missions. Wing fighter units destroyed many enemy aircraft: 36 confirmed aerial victories between 17 December 1967 and 8 January 1973. It also used AC-47D gunships to provide air defense of friendly Laotian outposts from June 1969 – June 1970. It ceased combat in Vietnam in January, in Laos in February, and in Cambodia in August 1973. The wing remained in Southeast Asia to perform reconnaissance and routine training to retain combat proficiency, changing designations from reconnaissance to fighter in November 1974. The wing supported [[Operation Eagle Pull]], the evacuation of US personnel from Phnom Penh, Cambodia on 12 April 1975, and [[Operation Frequent Wind]], the evacuation of US and South Vietnamese personnel from Saigon on 29 April 1975. From 13 to 15 May 1975, the wing played a major role in locating the [[Mayaguez Incident|''SS Mayaguez'']] and in the military operations associated with the recovery of that US commercial vessel and its crew from the Cambodians. The wing was relieved of all operational commitments on 30 November and inactivated at Udorn RTAFB on 23 December 1975.
The mission of the wing was to provide intelligence information about hostile forces through tactical reconnaissance and use its fighter elements to destroy the targets earmarked by the intelligence data provided. The wing had numerous missions in the support area also.
The 432nd TRW was the most diversified unit of its size in the USAF." (Wikipedia, Encyclopedia Web reference, 25 June 2016 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Udorn_Royal_Thai_Air_Force_Base)