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2012 Reunion POC: Mickey Baity EMAIL:

Webmaster: Bob Hipps

The Fighter Pilot

Say what you will about him; arrogant, cocky, boisterous, and a fun loving fool to boot. He has earned his place in the sun. Across the span of fifty years he has given this country some of its proudest moments and most cherished military traditions. But fame is short-lived and little the world remembers. Almost forgotten are the 1400 fighter pilots who stood alone against the might of Hitler's Germany during the dark summer of 1940 and gave, in the words of Winston Churchill, gave England "Its finest hour." Gone from the hardstands at Duxford are the 51s with their checkerboard noses that terrorized the finest fighters the Luftwaffe had. Dimly remembered is the Fourth Fighter Group that gave Americans some of their few proud moments in the skies over Korea. How fresh in recall are the Air Commandos who valiantly struck the VC with their aging "Skyraiders" in the rain and blood soaked valley called A-Shau? And how long will be remembered the "Phantoms" and "Thuds" over "Route Pack Six" and the flackfilled skies over Hanoi? Barrel Roll, Steel Tiger, Tally Ho. So here's a "Nickel on the Grass" to you, my friend and your spirit, enthusiasm, sacrifice, and courage—but most of all, to your friendship. Yours is a dying breed and when you are gone, the world will be a lesser place!

Friar Tuck

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