LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - At the age of 92, Bernie Goode looks back on 31-years spent in the U.S. military. He joined what was then called the Army Air Corps in 1943.
"I was training to fly in B29's to go to bomb Japan when the war ended," says Goode.
However, not fighting in World War II wasn't the end to Goode's wartime service because the Korean war was just around the corner.
"I flew B-26s, twin engine bombers and we flew daytime for a couple of months and then we started flying night low level," says Goode.
The American bombers were flying so low that at times they were no more than 10 feet off the ground.
"In six months we lost 54 airplanes. They were at night and they just didn't come back," says Goode.
It was on one of his night time missions that Goode noticed a long line of lights coming out of North Korea heading south.
When Goode radioed base to ask what was going on, he was told it was "nothing".
"I said well I've never seen anything like that and then the combat controller came on and said, 'the Chinese have crossed the border' and I was the first one to report to headquarters that the Chinese were in the war," recalls Goode.
Goode spent only six months in Korea, before being sent back to the states to train pilots for Korean war service. A short decade later, he was to fly in to war zones once again.
"We went to the Philippines for a top secret mission of 1961 we took the first combat unit into Vietnam and I was Mission on that," says Goode.
For the next twelve years, the duration of the Vietnam war, Goode flew his C-1-240 cargo plane to Vietnam loaded with helicopters.
"They'd be shooting at us as we took off," recalls Goode.
Bernie Goode retired from the Air Force in 1974 as a Lieutenant Colonel, after 31 years in the Air Force.
"Oh I enjoyed myself. We had a lot of good times and we had a lot of bad times but mostly they were good times," Goode fondly remembers.