Author Bob Ford at Omni group

The Omni Book Club of Tulsa will host author Bob Ford, who wrote The Black Cat 2-1 about his experiences as a helicopter pilot during the War in Vietnam.

Ford will speak at 10:30 a.m. October 26 at Ranch Acres Baptist Church, 3143 S. Jamestown. The public is invited.

Through first-hand accounts, Black Cat 2-1 tells the story of a war in which 2,197 helicopter pilots and 2,717 crew members were killed in battle. Ford flew Huey helicopters.

From July 1967 to July 1968, Ford flew over one thousand missions in Vietnam. After the first six weeks, he became an aircraft commander and took over the command of a helicopter detachment at Hue, forty miles from the DMZ – the farthest northern helicopter unit in Vietnam. His tour included the beginning of the siege of Khe Sahn and the Tet Offensive in February 1968 when he and his men manned the perimeter for a three-day and three-night ground attack.

Ford made his commitment to flying helicopters when he was still in college at The University of Oklahoma. He completed ROTC training and received a commission in the U.S. Army in 1966. He volunteered for army helicopter flight school and within one year was flying combat in Vietnam. When he completed his tour in Vietnam, he became an instructor pilot at Fort Wolters, Texas. Following his discharge in 1969, he moved to Okeene, Oklahoma, to head the Okeene division of the family flour milling business, which he still actively manages.

The mill was founded in 1895.  J. Lloyd Ford bought the mill in 1906 and renamed it Shawnee Milling Company. Bob Ford was named executive vice president in 1979 at age 34. Four generations of the Ford Family have been involved in the business.

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