Oral History Interview with Gary Rubus

Oral History Interview with Gary Rubus
Narrator (written)
Gary Rubus
Narrator First Name
Narrator Last Name
Sandor Farkas
Gary M. Rubus. Class of 1967. Oral history interview with the Dartmouth Vietnam Project. Rubus describes his childhood and family connections to the military. He describes spending his summers in high school working on a farm in Nebraska. Rubus describes joining the Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, participating in the Psi Upsilon fraternity, playing lacrosse, and studying Russian language and literature while a student at Dartmouth. Rubus discusses his pilot training at Webb Air Force Base in Big Spring, Texas and his F-4 qualification program at George Air Force Base in Victorville, California. Rubus discusses his desire to become to best fighter pilot he possibly could during his time in training and during the Vietnam War. He describes his arrival to Thailand at the Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base in February of 1969. He shares how his first tour was focused on attacking ground targets in Laos, southern North Vietnam, and occasionally South Vietnam and Cambodia. Rubus describes the psychological difference between a ground combat fighter versus an aerial combat fighter. He shares that the closest he got to hand to hand combat was when he was the last U.S. Air Force pilot to have an aerial fighter-on-fighter victory of with a cannon. Rubus describes a time when he was shot down on a combat mission. He describes returning to Dartmouth while on rest and recovery and feeling very unwelcome. He details what it was like to attend the Fighter Weapons Instructor Course and his experience becoming a flight instructor. He describes being deployed to Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base. He shares his experience during the Vietnam War as being highly focused on the work rather than why or how the country was involved in the war. He explains how this focus had an impact on his personal life, and began questioning his involvement in the Air Force. Rubus describes how he ended up working as the Air Force attaché for four years at the Embassy of the United States, Moscow. He shares his role in establishing relations between the US Air Force and the Russian Air Force. Rubus discusses his retirement from the Air Force in 1998 and his work with Lockheed Martin.
Date of Interview
January 16, 2016
Dartmouth Alumni
Dartmouth History
Military Service
Military Service (Air Force)
Rauner ID
Interview Audio Source (MP3)
Interview Transcript Source (PDF)