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 discover, regardless of the hour or the elements. And the guy who made certain that LBJ received his trip was once basic James U. go, the president's hand-picked pilot, best army assistant, and private confidante. one of many few Air strength One pilots to have a place, at the same time, within the White condo, common pass is additionally the one member of LBJ's internal circle who has no longer publicly provided his reminiscences of the president. during this publication, he is going at the list, making a attention-grabbing, behind-the-scenes portrait of America's complicated, usually contradictory, consistently larger-than-life thirty-sixth president.
General pass tells an engrossing tale. as well as piloting Air strength One around the world, he served President Johnson in a number of capacities, together with directing the army place of work within the White condominium; dealing with a mystery two-million-dollar presidential emergency fund; supervising the presidential retreat at Camp David, the president's whole 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 squaddies killed in Vietnam. This wide-ranging, around-the-clock entry to President Johnson allowed move to witness occasions and percentage moments that upload colour and intensity to our knowing of America's arguably so much difficult and unpredictable president.
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Extra resources for Around the World with LBJ: My Wild Ride as Air Force One Pilot, White House Aide, and Personal Confidant
You’ve just got to go back there and talk to him,” Jackson told me. ” Johnson was flat-out furious. He needed to be back home at Jo ining the Inner Circle 41 the Elms to host a party celebrating the engagement of one of his secretaries, Geraldine Williams, who was going to marry newspaper journalist Robert Novak. “Well, dammit,” he said. “I thought you told me that we’d land over here at Poughkeepsie and Kennedy would land over there at Stewart Field and we’d be able to get out. Why is it that the vice president of the United States can’t get a little priority once in a while?
In fact, the whole unit was up in arms about the trip, and I was the focus of their anger. m. I called the vice president back to fill him in. I shared the fact that a lot of people were still upset and did not want me to go. “Well, we’re going to go if you think you can make it,” he said. ” 36 Around the W o rld w i th LBJ I told him we should leave quickly. If the fog worsened so I could not even see the runway lights, then I might change my mind about whether the flight could take off. ” Johnson said.
The former First Lady’s funeral was scheduled for November 10, 1962, in Hyde Park, New York, with burial at the Roosevelt estate. Of course, President and Mrs. Kennedy were going. They would fly on Air Force One to Stewart Air Force Base near the military academy at West Point. Former Presidents Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower also would attend the funeral. Johnson called to let me know he was going too. “Now dammit, Cross,” he said. “I don’t want to get up there and get delayed by the president’s plane.
Around the World with LBJ: My Wild Ride as Air Force One Pilot, White House Aide, and Personal Confidant by James U. Cross