By James U. Cross
When Lyndon Baines Johnson desired to cross someplace, there has been no preventing him. This dynamic president referred to as for Air strength One as others summon a taxi—at a moment's detect, regardless of the hour or the elements. And the guy who made certain that LBJ acquired his journey was once normal James U. move, the president's hand-picked pilot, most sensible army assistant, and private confidante. one of many few Air strength One pilots to have a place, concurrently, within the White condo, basic move is usually the single member of LBJ's internal circle who has no longer publicly provided his reminiscences of the president. during this e-book, he is going at the list, making a attention-grabbing, behind-the-scenes portrait of America's complicated, frequently contradictory, continually larger-than-life thirty-sixth president.
General go 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 residence; coping 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; working the White condominium Mess; hiring White apartment social aides, together with the president's destiny son-in-law, Charles Robb; and writing condolence letters to the households of infantrymen killed in Vietnam. This wide-ranging, around-the-clock entry to President Johnson allowed go to witness occasions and proportion moments that upload colour and intensity to our knowing of America's arguably so much challenging and unpredictable president.
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Additional info for Around the World with LBJ: My Wild Ride as Air Force One Pilot, White House Aide, and Personal Confidant
All right, sir,” I said. ” It seemed that no sooner had I hung up, I got a call from Johnson himself. I decided to come clean. “Well, sir, my group doesn’t want us to do it, but it can be done,” I said. ” he asked. “Yes, sir,” I said. ” “Well, let’s just do it,” he said. ” I wasn’t about to call four-star General Curtis LeMay, whose legendary 24 Around the W o rld w i th LBJ bombing raids over Europe and Japan in World War II had made him bigger than life and nearly untouchable. I never knew what happened next, but someone must have called LeMay, because I got word that the trip was on again.
I just bit my nails and waited. Just waited. “Oh, my God! ” I thought. They released us while Air Force One was flying back to Washington with the new president. I figured he’d be glad to see a familiar face when he landed, so I decided to head to the flight line and meet the poor man. I was anguishing with him, and for him. But when he landed, I realized everything had changed. Hell, I couldn’t get within 500 yards of the airplane because of tight security. He never even saw me. And I wasn’t sure I’d ever see him again.
Then he said, “Major, I don’t know whether you will appreciate this or not, but I’ve decided you are a can-do man. I told Secretary McNamara last night that the vice president of the United States ought to have his own personal pilot and plane. All the presidents since Roosevelt’s time have enjoyed that privilege, and I think it’s high time the vice president of the United States should have that same recognition. I told McNamara that I wanted you to be my pilot, and the JetStar in which you brought me here yesterday is to be reserved for my exclusive use.
Around the World with LBJ: My Wild Ride as Air Force One Pilot, White House Aide, and Personal Confidant by James U. Cross