Kills from the Sky

Kills from the Sky," is a short story set during the Vietnam War. It features a mixed-blood northern Minnesota Ojibway who becomes a wave lead B-52 navigator-bombardier. Having served nearly three years in theater, and with over 400 combat missions, he is suffering from combat fatigue. During a mission towards the end of the war, he neglects his target study during the pre-mission briefing and bombs the wrong target, killing many American troops, under what is termed a "friendly fire" incident. Haunted by this terrible mistake, condemned by his colleagues, he finds a way to finally atone for this unforgivable mistake in the fiery crucible of one last great attack designed to end the war.

Kills was published in 1994 by "Four Directions", the American Indian Literary Quarterly, a national magazine of writing by American Indian Poets & Authors (no longer in publication). This fictional story formed the initial basis of what eventually became the nonfiction book, "Flying from the Black Hole: The B-52 Navigator-Bombardiers of Vietnam." It was Robert O. Harder's first published work.

Read the story: Kills from the Sky