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"We don't go to war to occupy and take over and dominate; we've gone to war to liberate." (Video interview, 52:49)

   Joseph R. Pitts
Collection image
Joseph Pitts circa 1964 [detail]
War: Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Branch: Air Force
Unit: 99th Bomber Wing
Service Location: United States; Vietnam
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The son of an army chaplain who served in World War II under General Douglas MacArthur and then became a missionary, Joseph Pitts understood early in life the value of having a mission. He enlisted in the Air Force in 1963 and became an Electronic Warfare officer, flying 116 combat missions in Vietnam. Joseph Pitts was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1996, representing Pennsylvania's Sixteenth District.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (9 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: video (56 min.)
»Photo Album  (4 photos)
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 Video (Interview Excerpts) (9 items)
Duties of an electronic war officer. (01:55) The ongoing training process. (02:26) How being alert placed demands on his family. (02:25)
His decision to leave the service. (00:47) Camaraderie among the crews. (03:00) His plane deployed as airborne artillery. (01:22)
Feedback after bombing missions. (02:17) Reacting to the antiwar movement. (01:24) His experience shaping his views on military readiness. (03:24)

Home » Joseph R. Pitts
  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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