By James U. Cross
When Lyndon Baines Johnson desired to pass someplace, there has been no preventing him. This dynamic president known as for Air strength One as others summon a taxi—at a moment's observe, regardless of the hour or the elements. And the fellow who made certain that LBJ received his journey was once normal James U. move, the president's hand-picked pilot, best army assistant, and private confidante. one of many few Air strength One pilots to have a place, concurrently, within the White apartment, basic pass is additionally the one member of LBJ's internal circle who has now not publicly provided his memories of the president. during this ebook, he is going at the checklist, making a attention-grabbing, behind-the-scenes portrait of America's complicated, frequently contradictory, continually larger-than-life thirty-sixth president.
General move tells an engrossing tale. as well as piloting Air strength One world wide, he served President Johnson in a number of capacities, together with directing the army place of work within the White apartment; dealing with a mystery two-million-dollar presidential emergency fund; supervising the presidential retreat at Camp David, the president's complete transportation fleet, and the presidential bomb shelters; operating the White apartment Mess; hiring White condo social aides, together with the president's destiny son-in-law, Charles Robb; and writing condolence letters to the households of squaddies killed in Vietnam. This wide-ranging, around-the-clock entry to President Johnson allowed pass to witness occasions and percentage moments that upload colour and intensity to our figuring out of America's arguably such a lot tough and unpredictable president.
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Extra resources for Around the World with LBJ: My Wild Ride as Air Force One Pilot, White House Aide, and Personal Confidant
We flew at maximum, red-line speed, not worried about fuel efficiency, and it worked. The somewhat shorter route and our speed meant we arrived at Palm Beach a moment or so before President Kennedy drove up behind the wheel of his own Lincoln convertible. ” I never heard another word about violating the Air Force over-water restriction. Air Force regulations might be sacred, but not when a vice president of the United States is involved. Johnson exchanged pleasantries with the president, then invited him aboard to tour the plane.
I hadn’t flown the Convair in more than a year, so I was no longer qualified. ” I thought we could land the vice president’s plane, Air Force Two, in Poughkeepsie, New York. That airport was only about six miles south of Hyde Park, while Stewart Air Force Base was more than 20 miles down the Hudson River from the Roosevelt compound. I figured Johnson would have no trouble taking off first. I figured wrong. I called my friend Air Force General William McKee, who had been head of the Air Force Logistics Command before his recent promotion to vice chief of staff under General LeMay.
He wouldn’t be needing me in Texas. I made a quick hop to Bergstrom Air Force Base on the outskirts of Austin, and the crew and I rested until about noon the next day. Before flying off to Washington, I called the vice president to see if he had any new instructions. “No,” he said, and his last words were, “I’ll see you Monday, Major. ” I was in my office at Andrews AFB on Friday, November 22, catching up on paperwork. My wife, Marie, called about noon with news that my cousin, John C. Cross, and his family had dropped by.
Around the World with LBJ: My Wild Ride as Air Force One Pilot, White House Aide, and Personal Confidant by James U. Cross