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Ed Rasimus - FU Hero

Posted by Jolly on February 5, 2013

ed_rasimus.jpg

Ed "Raz" Rasimus

Ed “Raz” Rasimus born on September 29, 1942, in Chicago, Illinois.  He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the USAF on July 8, 1964 from the ROTC program at Illinois Institute of Technology. Lt Rasimus next completed Undergraduate Pilot Training and was awarded his pilot wings at Williams AFB, Arizona, in July 1965.  Following UPT, Ed was assigned the F-105 Thud and combat crew training at Nellis AFB, Nevada.

edrasimus.jpgRaz had his first operational assignment as a fighter pilot at Korat Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand.  He was an F-105D driver with the 421st Tactical Fighter Squadron from May to November 1966 where he completed over 100 missions in the Thud over North Vietnam.  When he returned from Southeast Asia (SEA), he served as an instructor pilot at Williams AFB from December 1966 to May 1970. After teaching new pilots to fly at Willie, he was assigned to Rated Officer Assignments at Headquarters Air Randolph AFB, Texas, from May 1970 to April 1972.

Once Ed completing his penalty tour as a flesh peddler at Randolph, he was sent to F-4 Combat Crew Training at Luke AFB, Arizona.  Following his Phantom check out, he served a second tour in SEA at Korat as an F-4E pilot with the 469th and then the 34th Tactical Fighter Squadrons from July 1972 to July 1973. His next assignment was as an F-4C pilot with the 613th Tactical Fighter Squadron of the 401st Tactical Fighter Wing at Torrejon AB, Spain, from August 1973 to July 1977.

Major Rasimus served on the staff of Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe at Ramstein AB, West Germany, from July 1978 to July 1981.  In 1981 he returned to training young fighter pilots as an AT-38 IP for Lead-in Fighter Training with the 435th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron at Holloman AFB, New Mexico, until July 1985. Ed’s final assignment was as an Air Liaison Officer with the 2nd Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) at Fort Carson, Colorado, from July 1985 until his retirement from the Air Force on July 1, 1987.

Ed “Raz” Rasimus flew west on 30 January, 2013.  He will be remembered as athunder.jpg great fighter pilot and successful author of three books. He wrote his first book, When Thunder Rolled, in 2004. Raz strapped the reader into the cockpit of a Thud in his engaging account of the Rolling Thunder campaign in the skies over North Vietnam.  Between 1965 and 1968, more than 330 F-105s were lost–the highest loss rate in Southeast Asia–and many pilots were killed, captured, and wounded because of ridiculous ROE and no real plan to win. The descriptions of Rasimus’s one hundred missions, some of the most dangerous of the conflict, will satisfy anyone addicted to vivid, heart-stopping aerial combat, as will the details of his transformation from a young man paralyzed with self-doubt into a battle-hardened veteran. His unique perspective, candid analysis, and the sheer power of his narrative rank his memoir with the finest, most entertaining of the war.

palacecobra.jpgPicking up where his acclaimed first book left off, Palace Cobra was the story of Ed Rasimus's return to Vietnam to fight a war that many Americans tried to forget.  When Ed Rasimus completed his 100 missions over Vietnam, he returned stateside to a normal life: sitting at a desk and teaching student pilots. Two years later, he volunteered to go for a second tour of duty. Determined not to die in a losing cause, and relentlessly searching for that next adrenaline rush, Rasimus and the other F-4 Phantom pilots continued the ferocious air war in the North--dodging SAMs and gunning for MiGs--and routinely cheated death. 

When America finally got serious about ending the war, Rasimus and the other pilots put it all on the line, pounding Hanoi with everything they had, and flying above POW camps to let the troops know they were not alone. Gripping, earnest, and unforgettable, Rasimus's combat memoir is, in the end, a heartfelt tribute to those who never made it back.

Ed’s final book in 2011, Fighter Pilot, The memoirs of Robin Olds, was writtenfighter_pilot.jpg jointly with Robin’s daughter Christina. Ed and Christina gave us a intimate look inside the life of the fighter pilots fighter pilot, Robin Olds.  They shared with us Robin’s own thoughts from his P-38 and P-51 wartime squadrons in WWII, and his leadership in the pointy end of an F-4 as Wing Commander of the Wolfpack.  For the current crop of fighter pilots, Olds is the epitome of what it means to be a warrior and leader.  For cadets at the Air Force Academy he was a role model and mentor.  

Raz flew more than 250 combat missions in F-105 Thunderchief and F-4 Phantom II in SEA and received the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross five times, and numerous Air Medals. All of Ed’s books are on our “must read” list here at Fighter Pilot University.  Raz will be missed, but never forgotten.  His thoughts and spirit will live on through his books.  We are very proud to have Ed “Raz” Rasimus in our Fighter Pilot University Hall of Heroes.  Here’s a nickel on the grass to another great fighter pilot who has gone before us.  Check out the song below, I'm sure Ed is bellied up to the bar with Robin in fighter pilot heaven singing a few ditties as we speak!

Purple Twilight

Comments:

Posted by SNEEDO on
THANKS JOLLY....YOU MAKE ME PROUD TO BE A PART OF THIS MEMORIAL PAGE....ED WAS ONE OF MY PEER HEROS...WE ARRIVED AT KORAT ON THE SAME CLONG JULY 72....HIS 2ND TOUR MY FIRST ...I WAS IN AW THE REAL FIGHTER PILOT FROM "THE MOVIE" IN MY PRESENCE....I STUDIED AT HIS FEET THE WHOLE YEAR AND LEARNED MY LESSONS WELL...HUNTER-KILLER MISSIONS , TIGER FAC AND I'VE BEEN A FIGHTER FEST SONG LEADER EVERY WHERE I WENT AFTER THAT TOUR..CULMINATING IN THE CD TOMMY ABBOTT AND I DID AT ALCONBURY 1989....I WAS RETIRING AND DIDN'T WANT THE YOUNG LADS TO MISS SOME GREAT VERSE...TRADITION IS SO IMPORTANT IN THE CURRENT AIR FORCE WITH THE POLITICALLY CORRECT WITCH HUNTS....REMEMBER WE ONCE HAD STAG BARS...DON'T LET THEM TAKE OUR BALLS!!
SNEEDO

SNEEDO
Posted by Budman on
Raz was one of my T37 IPs in RainDance flight at Willy in '67-'68. The F105 movie, "There is a Way" had just been released, which told the story of Thud Drivers getting to the magic 100 Missions. Ras was featured as the young, cocky Lt--a part which suited him well!! We "Bushbeaters" as he referred to us when he'd acknowlege our presence at all would drink our beers and listen to Raz, Nels Running, Bob Loken and others who wore The Patch re-fight the war.
Basically, they were Gods.
Raz and I crossed paths again at Torrejon, he as Asst OpsO and I as a FltCC in the 613TFS (F4). There are many stories from that era in Europe, and they're best told over an adult beverage or 3...very simply, Raz was one of the first victims at the PC altar.His guys would to this day follow him pretty much anywhere. Count me in that column.
You might want to read his books--you'll learn a lot. His collaboration with Christina Olds on her dad, Robin, gives great perspective on another true Fighter Pilot Hero.
I plan to be in attendance at Arlington when they get Raz's funeral sorted out.
Hope to see some of you there.Thanks for sending these folks some of the memorabilia, BabyMac. Cheers! Budman.
Posted by Jolly on
Roger that Sneedo and Budman. The song seemed perfect to honor Raz. Although I never knew or flew with Raz, I sure wish I had. I was fortunate that my first assignment was in the Phantom (George for RTU, then Taegu and Ramstien) in the early 80s as a WSO. What a great way to learn our craft with guys who had been there done that. Later when I went to UPT and the Eagle, I took all those lessons learned from my Phantom days and passed them on to my UPT class and every squadron until I retired. Singing was a big part of who we were. It's how we expressed ourselves. Not too many Raz types left anymore. We still have a few, but they are being squashed by the PC crowd. That's why Borg (one of my LT's from Willie, and Rowdy a long time A-10 driver) started this site. We are trying to keep our traditions, history, and spirit from being killed over PC. Here's a nickel on the grass for Raz.

Check Six
Jolly
Posted by pedrochavez on
Thank you, Jolly. The post is a great way to remember Ras. I flew with him at Torrejon; I was a backseater. I met up with him again in north Texas recently. When I knew he was close to the end, I wrote an ode to him and sent it to Carol, his wife, via mail. I was afraid he wouldn't see it online. A couple of weeks before that, I had called Carol to find out about Ed's status. She let me talk to him, so I asked him: "How in the hell are you?" "How in the hell am I?" he replied with words that over the phone lacked the usual baritone of Ed's voice. "Well, not good." He added. I felt a touch of stoicism in his speech. Ras, proud and heroic to the end.
Posted by deanirwin on
Raz & I served together in the 34th TFS at Korat AB in 1972 &73 and I followed him to Torrejon AB, Spain in the 613th TFS where we were flight commanders. A real Fighter Pilot and leader!! RIP Ed and have a cool one for me up there in the great beyond!! DeanIrwin
Posted by bgianacone on
Hey Dirwin, funny how Raz could bring us all together. I also served with him in 613TFS at Torrejon. We later overlapped at HQ USAFE, though I didn't realize it. Lost touch until Facebook brought us all back together. For those who would like to see him off on his real final flight, here's the word for his burial at Arlington:

EDWARD J RASIMUS JR, Maj, US AIR FORCE Administration Building 05/01/2013 - 1:00 PM

For those who can make it, I am trying to arrange a special group rate at one of the nearby hotels. I will post the information as soon as available. Bruce "Rooster" Ianacone (aka Shortround at TJZ)
Posted by bgianacone on
P.S. As I recall the one Finca party we had in Torrejon, Raz was the first to get in the ring with the bull, cape in hand and fearless. I guess that's what 250 combat missions in Nam will do for you. I'm about midway through his 'Palace Cobra.' Read 'Fighter Pilot' first, as a gift from my son, and finished 'When Thunder Rolled' last week on my way to see my son's 10 week old daughter, but he had a short-notice deployment to Korea. Must read books! Raz always was a great story teller. Rooster
Posted by bgianacone on
Here's Info on Hotel for Raz's burial at Arlington. There is a reception at Ft Myers afterwards. Please contact myself or Bull Kittle if you are attending. Current count is 50.

I have secured a very favorable rate at the Radisson Hotel Reagan Airport in Crystal City for the period between 29 April to 3 May, which covers the full range of dates form those responding so far. The Sales Manager, Richard Speorl, has made the following arrangements:

They will set-up a “courtesy” room block of ten rooms per night, for the Memorial Service, 4/29 – 5/3/2013 at a rate of $174.00 plus 10% tax. This is lower than their gov't/military rate and senior citizen rate.

When the initial 10 rooms are used, we will place another ten rooms in the block. People will have until April 19 to make reservations. After April 19, all un-sold rooms will be returned to the Hotel inventory and we will only accept additional reservations at the $174.00 rate, based on availability.

There will be no contract to sign, no deposit and there won’t be any liability for any rooms that go un-sold. Conversely, if the Hotel sells out over these dates, prior to April 10, any un-sold rooms in the block, will be taken back from the block.

Therefore, it is important that people make reservations as soon as possible after the announcement. In order to make reservations, please call 1-800-333-3333 and request reservations for the "Memorial for Ed Rasimus." This is the number for the Carlson Reservations Center. Provide the dates you will be staying (check-in/check-out) and type room (King or Double) you desire and if you need multiple rooms. The hotel is located at:

2020 Jefferson Davis Hwy.
Arlington, VA 22202

There is free shuttle service to/from the airport and some limited service to the local area (Crystal City/Pentagon City underground shopping and restaurants). It is also within walking distance to the metro.

Rooster
Posted by Myers on
Would you please give me a call reference Ed's funeral?

Joe Myers
304 283-2090
Posted by mike923 on
I did not know Ed, however I loved his books. As a Navy RIO with 197 missions over NVN (between 1970 and 73) I really enjoyed Palace Cobra, where he dedicated a lot of ink to his WSO's. I was very interested in the differences between the F-4E and the J model we flew (no gun for one). Our missions typically weren't as long in duration, but the pucker factor was always there. I am sorry that he is gone, he will be missed.
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