Videos and Photos of Army Special Ops, Navy SEALs, Air Force, Ma. Joseph Kittinger. Serving as a fighter pilot during the Vietnam War, he achieved an aerial kill of a North Vietnamese jet fighter and was later shot down himself, spending 11 months as a prisoner of war in a North Vietnamese prison.
In 2012, at the age of 84, he participated in the Red Bull Stratos project as capsule communicator, directing Felix Baumgartner on his record-breaking 39-kilometer (24 mi) freefall from Earth's stratosphere. Early life and military career Born in Tampa, Florida, Kittinger was educated at the Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida, and the University of Florida. After racing speedboats as a teenager, he entered the U.S. Air Force in March 1949. The Free Fall Research Page: Other Amazing Stories.