Highest Flight Ever

Soaring higher than Air Force One

Lonnie Melashenko is a revivalist for the Columbia Union Conference.

David B. Smith is the author of Finding Waldo and Rachel Marie, stories set in his home country of Thailand.

It happened 50 years ago this month: perhaps one of the most wrenching flights in the history of aviation.

Air Force One

Jim Swindal was the pilot of a Boeing 707 with the tail number 26000. The Secret Service called it “Angel,” but most of the world knew it simply as Air Force One. It was John F. Kennedy’s flagship aircraft, loaded with elegance and $2 million worth of high-tech hardware. It featured offices equipped with electric typewriters, and carried subscriptions to 15 magazines and five daily newspapers. Its presidential bedroom, catering to times when …

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