Cruising in the midnight sky above western Syria, “Crash” could scarcely believe the lethal Soviet air defenses below had no idea he was there. It was September 2014, the opening salvo of U.S.-led airstrikes on Islamic State group targets in Syria, and Crash was flying the stealth F-22 Raptor on its first combat mission.  Crash, a lieutenant colonel who told his story on the condition that Aviation Week identify him by his call sign, was not supposed to be there. It was the ...


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