Colonel Michael P. Cooper, USAF (Ret.)
A lot of hot sauces have their history behind it, and this one seems to have a lot in relation to a war hero, Colonel Cooper. Here is what I took off the website for this product:
When one pictures in their mind the classic “fighter pilot”, they would be seeing Mike Cooper thirty years ago. (pictured above)
This warrior earned his coveted silver wings and commission in the United States Air Force, through the Aviation Cadet Program in 1955. He always knew flying fighters was his life’s dream and worked diligently to reach that goal. This young aviator served his country flying jet fighters in Italy, Greece, Libya, Turkey, Germany, Spain, Japan, and Korea prior to the Vietnam War.
The then Captain Cooper lead the first flight in combat, for the famous F-105 Thunderchief in August of 1964. The battle tough F105 “Thud”, delivered over two thirds of all of the bombs dropped in North Vietnam.
Mike Cooper flew 102 missions into that Mig, flak, and surface to air missile infested environment. Among other significant missions, Captain Cooper lead a flight of four F-105s, as part of a joint Navy/Air Force strike force credited with destroying the first SA-2 SAM site for the Air Force.
Upon returning to the “Good Old U.S.A.”, Cooper taught replacement air crews how to fly and fight in the F-105 and later, the newer F-4 “Phantom II.”
As the war went on, then Major Cooper became more and more concerned over the plight of his comrades languishing in the prisons of their tormentors in North Vietnam. He believed only pressure, not words, would bring them home.
As he pushed his volunteer request for return to combat, he became aware, lending his experience as a mentor in the operational squadron would be an added plus. This fighter pilot became the Squadron Operations Officer and as such, had opportunity to train and hone his young charges to become a top notch fighting unit.
The new Lieutenant Colonel flew an additional 156 combat missions in the F-4 Phantom. He will quickly tell you, the most memorable one being, leading the Wing’s strike to Hanoi, on the resumption of bombing there, “It let our POW’s know we hadn’t forgotten them”. He tells of several of his life long personal friends regaling this event after their repatriation.
The POW’s were released shortly after his returning home bringing him great joy and relief.
Colonel Cooper retired from the Air Force shortly thereafter. His awards include The Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Medal with 23 Oak Leaf Clusters and others. He accumulated just under 5000 hours of jet fighter flying time.
He developed several successful businesses in the civilian world and is quick to point out, “The solar heating business was very humbling.”
He is an avid aviation enthusiast who has flown for the Confederate Air Force. The pic at right shows Col. Cooper and Col. Bo Caldwell flying the Confederate Air Force V-77 Reliant to airshows in the mid nineties.
Col. Cooper teaches acrobatics, and flies his own antique Aeronca Champ (and anything else he can get his hands on). This is the very Aeronca Champ on which the Colonel Pepper logo for Mile High Hot Sauce and T-shirts is based. In the pic below, Colonel Pepper… er… Cooper is ready to kick chocks, hop in his trusty steed Aeronca, and deliver another bottle of Mile High Hot Sauce.
“Mile High Hot Sauce has been a decade in the fine tuning and now we have a unique product that lots of folks swear by,” this gourmand now proudly proclaims.
Well we will see whether this sauce has enough fuel to get off the ground or not. Lets see how our crackerjack staff feels about this product. For this review we have Mer, Wendy and Xero.
Mile High Hot Sauce
288 Aviation Road
Pikeville, NC 27863
Customer Service & Phone-in Orders: