TopGun Founder, Captain Dan Pedersen, Highlights Cold War Exhibit While Reflecting on His Memoirs

by | Jan 13, 2023 | Exhibits, News, Vietnam

In the second event of a series to highlight the special exhibit Cold War: Soviets, Spies and Secrets, Captain Dan “Yank” Pedersen talked about his bestselling memoir, TopGun: An American Story, a firsthand account of the creation of the U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School.

Tony Cordero, an external affairs and community relations professional and founder of Sons and Daughters in Touch, an organization that brings together the Gold Star children of Vietnam, served as moderator. The conversation  covered everything from the Hollywood portrayal of Top Gun and how pilots get their call signs to the behind-the-scenes decisions that led to the formation of the fighter pilot school during the Vietnam War and the essential elements that define those selected to be instructors. 

Throughout his remarks, Captain Pedersen emphasized the importance of entrusting youth with leadership opportunities and the impactful power of mentorships. 

Watch here:

Signed copies of TopGun: An American Story are available in the Nixon Library store.

Visit Cold War: Soviet, Secrets and Spies at the Nixon Library before it closes on March 31st.