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CHARM_3 #1 Posted 30 January 2012 - 11:32 PM

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Lieutenant Nick Richardson was a fighter pilot in the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm, flying Sea Harriers.

In 1994, Richardson was a pilot in 801 NAS, operating from HMS Ark Royal over Bosnia as part of a NATO peacekeeping force.
On one sortie, he and his wingman were called up by a FAC (Forward Air Controller) on the ground near Gorazde to attack a pair of Serb T-55 tanks which were shelling them. While attempting to carry out a dive bomb attack, both he and his wingman found that their radars refused to lock up the tanks, preventing them from dropping their bombs using the most accurate method (the only way to reliably get the bombs on target). On his third attempt, while climbing away after pulling out from the dive, his Sea Harrier was struck by a SAM (Surface-to-Air Missile). He ejected soon after, safely landing in the countryside outside Gorazde.

Unsure of where he was, he was soon picked up by members of the resistance (fortunately for him). They took him into Gorazde and delivered him to a team of British soldiers from 21 SAS (might have been 23 SAS, can't remember exactly), who were the ones trying to get him to bomb the tanks in the first place.

After a while, the locals began to turn on the SAS group, due to the perceived lack of action from NATO. They decided to escape while they still could, and slipped out under cover of darkness. Despite coming close to a Serb patrol, and carrying a badly injured member of the SAS team on a makeshift stretcher, they managed to get to the landing zone they had selected for extraction in time. However, they then found that the helicopter hadn't been dispatched as promised (apparently no one thought they'd make it). Eventually, a French special forces Puma arrived and extracted them.

Richardson was shortly afterwards returned to Ark Royal, where his arrival was announced using his call-sign (Vixen Two-Three), to which the controller on board Ark Royal responded "About fucking time, what kept you!". Within two days of his return, Richardson was back in the air flying combat sorties over Bosnia.


He has written a book about his experiences, entitled "No Escape Zone"

liam900 #2 Posted 24 March 2012 - 10:21 PM

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I have read that book, its very impressive

laufer982 #3 Posted 26 March 2012 - 07:58 AM

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1.

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On one sortie, he and his wingman were called up by a FAC (Forward Air Controller) on the ground near Gorazde to attack a pair of Serb T-55 tanks which were shelling them.

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he was soon picked up by members of the resistance

1. Who Serbs were shelling? Did that book say what trigger Serbs action on Gorazde and what gen. Rose said in his report about Serb attack on Gorazde? Probably nothing.
2. this is a joke ..really what resistance you are talking about?

Let me explain you some facts about Gorazde. In the beginning of war for 15 months Gorazde was "free zone" and it was getting all supply's that they need (medical, food, especially weapons off all types, ammunition, etc.) evan after Serbs surrounded town . But Bosnian Muslims were constantly attacking Serbs from that "pocket" and often that attacks were in deep of Serbs territory. And Serbs in most case defend themselves. The fact is that the battle for Gorazde began with the construction of a bypass road. The Serbs were building a new road to link their territories, to connect separate blocks and to become safer. Work on the construction was interfered Bosnian army with their incursions from the enclave. So in logical way Serbs were defending their ground again. That constant attacks from Bosnian Muslim Army provoke Serbs to change from defense to offense. So they did it. Serbs attacks were very tactical planed and hard.  Evan gen.Rose said

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Our assessment was that the Bosnian Serbs are pressing on the tactical level
.  But all USA And EU media was against Serbs, and believe Muslims reports from Sarajevo about genocide and humanitarian catastrophe in Gorazde, evan UN officers and that lead to 1st NATO ground and air attack in 47yrs of this organization on Serbs. All air attack were and that true conduct 8 British FAC who came to that region in cloack as United Nations military observers.

"Svako se za nesto rodi, a mi smo se rodili za pilote - imali smo sve potrebno - odvažnost, borbenost, spretnost i bili smo vitezovi" - Đorđe Stojanović
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CHARM_3 #4 Posted 26 March 2012 - 10:19 AM

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View Postlaufer982, on 26 March 2012 - 07:58 AM, said:

1. Who Serbs were shelling? Did that book say what trigger Serbs action on Gorazde and what gen. Rose said in his report about Serb attack on Gorazde? Probably nothing.

According to Richardson the tanks were shelling the FAC (the SAS, though he didn't know that's who they were then). This was based on the FAC telling him that he was being shelled.
Richardson himself saw the tanks firing, in fact that's how he spotted them, by the smoke coming out of the barrels.
He was cleared to engage by the AWACS before attacking as well.

No, he didn't say anything about what triggered the attack, or Rose's report.

According to the SAS team he was with, the tanks were part of a push that had started the day before (in the initial attacks, one member of the SAS team was killed and another seriously wounded).

A lot of Rose's information would have come from this SAS team - that's why they were there after all. So his report probably echoed what they told him was happening.

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2. this is a joke ..really what resistance you are talking about?

Well, I'm talking about the Muslims that found Richardson just after the ejection - he described them as resistance fighters.

laufer982 #5 Posted 28 March 2012 - 10:34 AM

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View PostCHARM_3, on 26 March 2012 - 10:19 AM, said:

According to Richardson the tanks were shelling the FAC (the SAS, though he didn't know that's who they were then). This was based on the FAC telling him that he was being shelled.

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According to Richardson the tanks were shelling the FAC (the SAS, though he didn't know that's who they were then). This was based on the FAC telling him that he was being shelled.
Serbs were shelling FAC?? You need to research better more about conflict in Gorazde mate then read one book that this pilot wrote and take it for a fact that's really happened. Well at the beginning of conflict as i said early in post the were only UN forces mostly Franch and Ukraine in Gorazde not British SAS/FACs, so in fact the planing of bombing of serbian forces were already approved by EU Councle and in cloak of UN Peace Forces British SAS FAC came to Gorazde and started to prepare for action. Maybe there were on line of fire so they thought they were attack , but dont forget that every attack were from Gorazde from Bosnian Army to Serbs forces that were in defending positions around town. So they reply with offensive.

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Richardson himself saw the tanks firing, in fact that's how he spotted them, by the smoke coming out of the barrels.
He was cleared to engage by the AWACS before attacking as well.
Well as i remember only 4 tanks were destroy in NATO bombing . and 2 of 4 were at plate site without covering. So maybe it is possible that he could see tanks if it was clear day from 3000m above. i will research it is it possible and post it.

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No, he didn't say anything about what triggered the attack, or Rose's report.
He blindly follow the orders not considering if it is ok. That the deference between heroes (aces)and others. Or he didnt do research for book but simply do a popular book where can earn some money.

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According to the SAS team he was with, the tanks were part of a push that had started the day before (in the initial attacks, one member of the SAS team was killed and another seriously wounded).
That happens when you are at the line of fire.

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A lot of Rose's information would have come from this SAS team - that's why they were there after all. So his report probably echoed what they told him was happening
are you sure???
here is a little video


"Svako se za nesto rodi, a mi smo se rodili za pilote - imali smo sve potrebno - odvažnost, borbenost, spretnost i bili smo vitezovi" - Đorđe Stojanović
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CHARM_3 #6 Posted 28 March 2012 - 03:15 PM

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View Postlaufer982, on 28 March 2012 - 10:34 AM, said:

Serbs were shelling FAC?? You need to research better more about conflict in Gorazde mate then read one book that this pilot wrote and take it for a fact that's really happened.

I'm not taking it for a fact. Hence "According to Richardson" - the SAS told him they were being shelled, and since they were on the ground at the time and he wasn't, why shouldn't he believe them?

I don't need to do more research 'mate' - my original post was really about what happened to him after he was shot down, not a detailed narrative of what was happening in the wider picture.


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Well as i remember only 4 tanks were destroy in NATO bombing . and 2 of 4 were at plate site without covering. So maybe it is possible that he could see tanks if it was clear day from 3000m above. i will research it is it possible and post it.

If you'd read my original post more carefully, you'd have noted that neither of the tanks they attempted to attack were destroyed, or even damaged - the radars in both their Sea Harriers repeatedly refused to lock up the tanks, so neither of them even dropped their bombs.


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He blindly follow the orders not considering if it is ok. That the deference between heroes (aces)and others.

That's a very ignorant comment, in fact an insult to Richardson. His job as a pilot providing close air support is to attack ground targets as directed by the FAC, after being cleared by AWACS. This is exactly what he did.
His job is NOT to fly around questioning the ethics of what he is being asked to do - delays like that can easily get friendly troops killed. He was flying in a warzone, and was asked to attack a target by an FAC (who happened to mention he was being shelled), which he did after being cleared live by the AWACS controller.


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Or he didnt do research for book but simply do a popular book where can earn some money.

Why should he have done research about the tanks? His book is telling the story from his perspective, and is focused on what happened to him after he was shot down. His book isn't supposed to be a super-accurate narrative on the whole Bosnian War, nor does it discuss the rights and wrongs of the war.


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That happens when you are at the line of fire.

No sh*t. Calling in fast air is a legitimate response to being attacked.


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are you sure???
here is a little video

Not quite sure what the point of that video is to be honest.

The fact is, the SAS team in Gorazde was sent there by Rose himself, with the specific task of feeding him on-site intel regarding the situation in and immediately around Gorazde. So I can't see how you can argue that Rose didn't base a lot of his info on what they were telling him.

laufer982 #7 Posted 30 March 2012 - 12:06 PM

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I'm not taking it for a fact. Hence "According to Richardson" - the SAS told him they were being shelled, and since they were on the ground at the time and he wasn't, why shouldn't he believe them?

I don't need to do more research 'mate' - my original post was really about what happened to him after he was shot down, not a detailed narrative of what was happening in the wider picture


well because SAS team was on Bosnian Muslim army side and its logical to think that when Serbs were going in offensive against Muslim army that they would be in line of fire especially for reason that they came to Gorazde in cloak of UNPROFOR and start recon Serbs line much before bombing and have casualties i think one KIA and second WIA .. and yes you have to research more then read one book and post what happened to pilot according to his view.


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If you'd read my original post more carefully, you'd have noted that neither of the tanks they attempted to attack were destroyed, or even damaged - the radars in both their Sea Harriers repeatedly refused to lock up the tanks, so neither of them even dropped their bombs.

i didn't say that this pilot destroy 4 Serb tanks.. READ! i said that in NATO air raid were destroyed 4 tanks and that 2 of them were in clear sight (on field) . So my point is that maybe its possible to this pilot to see tanks, but i dont know was he on alt 300m or 3000m , what airspeed, was it clear sunny day of cloudy fog day , etc...

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That's a very ignorant comment, in fact an insult to Richardson. His job as a pilot providing close air support is to attack ground targets as directed by the FAC, after being cleared by AWACS. This is exactly what he did.
His job is NOT to fly around questioning the ethics of what he is being asked to do - delays like that can easily get friendly troops killed. He was flying in a warzone, and was asked to attack a target by an FAC (who happened to mention he was being shelled), which he did after being cleared live by the AWACS controller.

no its not ignorant and why do you think its insult?.  pls refresh my memory  why he is a famous pilot?

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Why should he have done research about the tanks? His book is telling the story from his perspective, and is focused on what happened to him after he was shot down. His book isn't supposed to be a super-accurate narrative on the whole Bosnian War, nor does it discuss the rights and wrongs of the war.

Man you are not reading my posts.. NOT tanks but situation around Gorazde in first yrs of Bosnian war and Muslim ethnic cleansing of Gorazde and attacks on Serbian defenses around the town! if he wanted to wrote real book he had to research all details what happens in Gorazde and what triggerd Serbs response. If he researched more he would not say that he was pick up by "resistance" (Bosnian Muslim Army) when he was shot down, because that same "resistance" did ethnic cleansing ..more than 12.500 Serbs and others were expelled from their homes, killed or tortured ..and that was humanitarian catastrophe and genocide and no one pointed to Muslims and start bombing them...


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No sh*t. Calling in fast air is a legitimate response to being attacked.

yeah sh.t .. SAS were on Muslim side and its they fault that they been in line of site. as i recall in old hotel in center of town was sas recon party. and also one of those sas member also wrote book Solider X in Bosnia where he explain that they all think and i quote from his book
"The situation was not looking good. The Serbs were advancing towards the town
and there was not a lot the Muslims could do except try to slow them down. The
end seemed inevitable and a few NATO airstrikes would do little to help. Nothing
was said about this by any of our group, but everyone in our group was thinking
what the **** are we doing here."

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Not quite sure what the point of that video is to be honest.
The fact is, the SAS team in Gorazde was sent there by Rose himself, with the specific task of feeding him on-site intel regarding the situation in and immediately around Gorazde. So I can't see how you can argue that Rose didn't base a lot of his info on what they were telling him.

the point is that situation in Gorazde that West media presented were manufactured in Sarajevo and adopted by USA as real. Rose himself said that Serbs and other minorities were attacked by Muslim forces for 2yrs and that Gorazde was example of ethnic cleansing but no one (NATO, UN, UNPROFOR) didnt react to stop Muslim attacks and gave order to attack Muslims. No UNPROFOR came to Gorazde after it was "clean"and pointed status of UN Safe Zone .

"Svako se za nesto rodi, a mi smo se rodili za pilote - imali smo sve potrebno - odvažnost, borbenost, spretnost i bili smo vitezovi" - Đorđe Stojanović
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CHARM_3 #8 Posted 30 March 2012 - 05:41 PM

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View Postlaufer982, on 30 March 2012 - 12:06 PM, said:

well because SAS team was on Bosnian Muslim army side and its logical to think that when Serbs were going in offensive against Muslim army that they would be in line of fire especially for reason that they came to Gorazde in cloak of UNPROFOR and start recon Serbs line much before bombing and have casualties i think one KIA and second WIA .. and yes you have to research more then read one book and post what happened to pilot according to his view.

I don't think the SAS were under any illusions that they might come under attack. And regardless of whether or not the shelling was specifically directed at them, their lives were in danger as a result of it, so they understandably called up fast air to knock out the tanks.

I still don't see why I have to do more research - the book is about Richardson's experience from his perspective, it's not meant to be some kind of history reference book.


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i didn't say that this pilot destroy 4 Serb tanks.. READ! i said that in NATO air raid were destroyed 4 tanks and that 2 of them were in clear sight (on field)

Apologies, the way you'd written it made it sound like you thought they'd destroyed the tanks.


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So my point is that maybe its possible to this pilot to see tanks, but i dont know was he on alt 300m or 3000m , what airspeed, was it clear sunny day of cloudy fog day , etc..

So you're calling him a liar? He didn't say exactly what altitude he was at (he wouldn't have been watching the altimeter), but I'm pretty sure he was below 8,000 feet (and well below the cloud layer). The smoke he saw was actually from the tank's exhaust as it moved, not the gun (my mistake). It must have been possible for him to see the tanks, because he did.


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no its not ignorant and why do you think its insult?. pls refresh my memory why he is a famous pilot?

Because you were criticising him for supposedly "blindly following orders", and somehow suggesting he was a sub-standard pilot for not "considering if it was OK". His job was to provide close air support to friendly forces on the ground, which is exactly what he did. And he did consider it when he asked for clearance from the AWACS controller, who had the final say (he also insisted that the FAC correctly identify himself, which the FAC failed to do on the first attempt and was reluctant to try again).

He's famous, at least for us in Britain, because he's one of the few Sea Harrier pilots to have been shot down in action (in fact the only one since the Falklands War). His story is also a true 'behind enemy lines' scenario, again something that doesn't happen often to British pilots. And not only was he fortunate to survive the missile strike, but he also escaped with the SAS afterwards, which was very dangerous for them.


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yeah sh.t .. SAS were on Muslim side and its they fault that they been in line of site. as i recall in old hotel in center of town was sas recon party

I was agreeing with you. What, you think the SAS would turn up in a besieged city, and expect to be perfectly safe from Serb fire? They're not stupid.


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"The situation was not looking good. The Serbs were advancing towards the town
and there was not a lot the Muslims could do except try to slow them down. The
end seemed inevitable and a few NATO airstrikes would do little to help. Nothing
was said about this by any of our group, but everyone in our group was thinking
what the **** are we doing here."

That's pretty much what Richardson wrote in his book (in fact I think he was even thinking 'what am I doing here' just after the ejection).

laufer982 #9 Posted 31 March 2012 - 04:06 PM

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View PostCHARM_3, on 30 March 2012 - 05:41 PM, said:

I don't think the SAS were under any illusions that they might come under attack. And regardless of whether or not the shelling was specifically directed at them, their lives were in danger as a result of it, so they understandably called up fast air to knock out the tanks.

I still don't see why I have to do more research - the book is about Richardson's experience from his perspective, it's not meant to be some kind of history reference book.

cmon mate...did you know that SAS team were passing Serbs control checkpoint to they way to Gorazde. And that Serbs let them cross over because they were wearing UN berets , standard UK SA80 rifles and have all regular UN documents? And in the book " Secret Operations of the SAS" says that SAS was position on top of Hotel Gradina in center of town. So they were on direct line of fire. So you can not say that Serbs are shelling SAS simply Serbs were shelling Bosnian Muslim Army because for 2 yrs those Muslim Army attack,killed and relegate more then 12.500 Serbs and other nations.
And yes you should research more before posting and ofc this pilot had to research more then simply wrote popularistic book to earn money becose he is spreading negative picture of Serbs as all West media have done in 1990s.



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Apologies, the way you'd written it made it sound like you thought they'd destroyed the tanks.

Read more carefully


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So you're calling him a liar? He didn't say exactly what altitude he was at (he wouldn't have been watching the altimeter), but I'm pretty sure he was below 8,000 feet (and well below the cloud layer). The smoke he saw was actually from the tank's exhaust as it moved, not the gun (my mistake). It must have been possible for him to see the tanks, because he did.

this is a joke. its my q...is it possible to see a tank exhaust from 8000ft with speed lets say aprox 900km? He say.. very convincing mate :)...  as i say early ill research and let you now is it possible..


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Because you were criticising him for supposedly "blindly following orders", and somehow suggesting he was a sub-standard pilot for not "considering if it was OK". His job was to provide close air support to friendly forces on the ground, which is exactly what he did. And he did consider it when he asked for clearance from the AWACS controller, who had the final say (he also insisted that the FAC correctly identify himself, which the FAC failed to do on the first attempt and was reluctant to try again).

He's famous, at least for us in Britain, because he's one of the few Sea Harrier pilots to have been shot down in action (in fact the only one since the Falklands War). His story is also a true 'behind enemy lines' scenario, again something that doesn't happen often to British pilots. And not only was he fortunate to survive the missile strike, but he also escaped with the SAS afterwards, which was very dangerous for them.

this i will comment after i come back from swimming.this is like cheery on top of cream :)...



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I was agreeing with you. What, you think the SAS would turn up in a besieged city, and expect to be perfectly safe from Serb fire? They're not stupid.
this is way you have to research more. there are more then one book and in every one i have found its says that SAS were in hotel Gradina that was in direct line of fire.



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That's pretty much what Richardson wrote in his book (in fact I think he was even thinking 'what am I doing here' just after the ejection).
so im telling you that all conflict and NATO intervention in Gorazde was orchestrated by USA and that neither this pilot or SAS didn't know why they were sent in first place.  No one intertwined when Muslim Army for 2yrs killed, tortured and relegate 12.500 Serbs and other nations. so can you comprehend what im talking to you?

"Svako se za nesto rodi, a mi smo se rodili za pilote - imali smo sve potrebno - odvažnost, borbenost, spretnost i bili smo vitezovi" - Đorđe Stojanović
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CHARM_3 #10 Posted 31 March 2012 - 04:58 PM

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View Postlaufer982, on 31 March 2012 - 04:06 PM, said:

cmon mate...did you know that SAS team were passing Serbs control checkpoint to they way to Gorazde. And that Serbs let them cross over because they were wearing UN berets , standard UK SA80 rifles and have all regular UN documents?

What's that got to do with what happened to Richardson?


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they were on direct line of fire. So you can not say that Serbs are shelling SAS simply Serbs were shelling Bosnian Muslim Army

Yes, of course they were in the line of fire - they were in a city that was being shelled. It doesn't matter if the shelling wasn't aimed at them, 'being shelled' doesn't necessarily mean that you are being deliberately targeted. The SAS got caught up in this particular bout of shelling, so they called up fast air to defend themselves.


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Read more carefully

With respect, your written English isn't exactly perfect. Understanding some of it isn't straightforward.


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He say.. very convincing mate ... as i say early ill research and let you now is it possible..

It is possible - he saw the tanks, and he isn't lying. They weren't allowed to attack targets that they couldn't see (in fact, they can't anyway with unguided bombs - they have to locate the target first).

He was flying below 8,000 feet (he didn't say exactly what height), and it was only on their third pass that he and his wingman saw the tanks.


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this is way you have to research more. there are more then one book and in every one i have found its says that SAS were in hotel Gradina that was in direct line of fire.

Actually Richardson says in his book that the SAS were using hotel Gradina as an OP (though that wasn't their main base of operations, instead they were in a bank close to the hotel). He even went up onto the roof with a couple of them.


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neither this pilot or SAS didn't know why they were sent in first place

Err, yes they did. The SAS were there to provide on-site intel for NATO Command (as requested by Rose), and Richardson was there with his squadron, who were enforcing the no-fly zone and providing close air support alongside the other air assets in theatre, in support of the NATO peacekeeping operation.

Exactly why NATO was there is not really their concern, though I'm sure they would have been briefed on what was going on. No doubt you'll say that what they were told was wrong. Frankly, I don't really care. They didn't have a choice in the matter, they were there because it's their jobs, the rights and wrongs of the NATO intervention had nothing to do with them being there.


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No one intertwined when Muslim Army for 2yrs killed, tortured and relegate 12.500 Serbs and other nations. so can you comprehend what im talking to you?

Yes, I believe you're trying to say that in actual fact the Muslims were the ones committing atrocities, rather than (or perhaps as well as?) the Serbs.

However, I don't understand why you're making such a fuss. My original post was about Lt. Richardson, more specifically about his Sea Harrier being shot down, and him landing behind enemy lines, where he was taken to the SAS team in Gorazde, who then escaped to avoid imminent capture and almost certain death.

I was in no way trying to explain the background behind NATO's involvement in Bosnia, nor whether or not they were right to do so. It has absolutely nothing to do with what happened to Richardson - he was simply doing his job.

CryHavoc101 #11 Posted 15 May 2012 - 01:34 PM

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Richardson would have had complete faith in the chain of command, its not a simple case of blindly following orders.

If he did not have this level of trust then he would not have been flying Harrier for the Mob (Royal Navy).

If a UKSF FAC asks him to bomb a target he is not going to go all 20 questions on him and start to question the moral implications of his actions.

Thats the responsability of his Government who placed him in that situation in the first place and to a lesser extent the Chain of Command who ordered him to fly to point X and support the SAS Team on the ground.

However if you wish to pursue this issue further can I suggest that you start a seperate thread under the 'General Discussion' section as this particular thread was not about the rights and wrong of the Gorazde situation or the whole sorry mess that was the Yogoslavian Civil War.

Superb aircraft though with a fantastic sortie rate - My Dads best mate was one of the Senior Engineers at BAe Kingston responsable for the Sea Harrier Conversion back in the 70s