by Mark Berent
The men shifted and positioned themselves, holding their lances butt down. He drifted into them with alarming speed. Three miles away, his shot-up F-4 jet fighter carrying his dead backseater crashed into a low green hill, and exploded into a towering red and black fireball. He was Major Algernon A. "Flak" Apple, the first black Air Force fighter pilot to be shot down in North Vietnam.