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Returning home from Persian Gulf War

Returning home from Persian Gulf War

May 18, 1991: Capt. Schweiger is welcomed home from the Persian Gulf War by his wife Becky.

In the next morning’s Los Angeles Times, staff writer George Frank reported:

EL TORO — The last of El Toro’s F/A-18 Hornets returned home Friday from the Persian Gulf to a waiting crowd of family, friends and two dachshunds with yellow ribbons.

A dozen Hornets flew over El Toro Marine Corps Air Station in groups of four before peeling off and circling to land. When they shut down their engines, they marked the end of a three-day trip and 18 refuelings between Bahrain on the Persian Gulf and El Toro, with stops in Spain, South Carolina and Yuma, Ariz.

The planes were part of an all-weather fighter-attack squadron sent to the Gulf in January. The squadron’s aircraft, a two-seat model of the F/A-18, were used as forward air controllers; they spotted targets over Iraq and Kuwait and guided bombers in to destroy tanks, buildings or antiaircraft artillery.

The job was dangerous because the Hornets had to remain over enemy targets much longer than the attack planes and bombers. But the Hornet squadron did not lose a plane during the war, according to Maj. Bill Cronin, a spokesman for the squadron ….

Children, wives, relatives and friends carrying American flags ran to the planes as the pilots climbed from the cockpits ….

This photo by staff photographer Robert Lachman was published with Frank’s article in the May 18, 1991, Los Angeles Times.

Link to Frank’s article: 18 Refueling Stops Later, 12 Hornets Buzz Home

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