Riverside National Cemetery Flight
The 3rd Pursuit Squadron flew a memorial flight over the Riverside National Cemetery on Friday, September 16, 2005. This was to honor the dedication of a new Veterans Memorial at RNC. The flight consisted of a V-formation pass followed by a Missing Man formation and opened the dedication ceremony. The ceremony closing was saluted by a flight of F-16s.
Present on the ground was a WW I survivor as well as a survivor from the Bataan Death March and survivors from the death camps following the Battle of Bastogne. As our person (Ukes) on the ground said, "I was really thrilled at the way you looked and by the reaction of the crowd." "...when we heard the sound of your engines and as you passed over the crowd broke out in spontaneous applause..."
The flight consisted of three T-6s, flown by John Selk, Bruce Graham, and Dick Fields. Being Reno week, we were hard pressed to find aircraft and pilots available.
Orange County Memorial Flight
Four T-6s piloted by CAF pilots flew a memorial flight for the veterans of the Santa Ana Army Airbase. This field existed in the 1940ís and was spread over the site of the Orange County fairgrounds, Orange Coast College and extended to the current John Wayne airport. The veterans of this base have had a reunion each year for many years, with John Collver doing a smoke pass each year. The group decided that this would be the final (last) year they would meet; John, however, was unavailable this year thus the CAF had the opportunity to honor these ancient warriors.
The flight originated at Chino, 10:00AM on Saturday, April 30th, and consisted of Dick Fields, lead; Jim Bergman and Ray Dieckman were #2; Tom Nightingale and Mike Hay were #3, the pull ship; and Bruce Graham and Chris Rios were #4.
The flight was over the target at the expected time, the pull was beautiful, and the reports from the ground were that the veterans were very much touched. We were delighted to be of service. It should be noted that we got the word that Ed Perry, son of Joanne and Jerry, was responsible for getting our clearance from SoCal!
3rd Pursuit Christmas Party
More to follow....