My father enlisted in the Army Air Corps (forerunner to the Air Force) right out of high school, but the war was ending by the time he was shipped to the Pacific. He ended up seeing more action on the group’s basketball team, which won the Far Eastern championship.
Dad, who died eight years ago just short of 84, always said his 7-years-older brother was the true hero. Indeed, Bud, shown here in 1943, was a bomber pilot for the Eighth Air Force, whose perilous missions were flown over Nazi Germany. As noted in “Masters of the Air” by Donald L. Miller, “In 1943, an American bomber crewman stood only a one-in-five chance of completing his tour of duty, twenty-five missions.” Bud saw most of his buddies killed. But he returned and eventually became a colonel before retiring. He died at 94.