30 November 1957 – Capt Benny Lacombe is killed when he unsuccessfully attempts to bail out of Lockheed U-2A, 56-6704, Article 371, 13 miles SE of Laughlin AFB. Ejection seats had not yet been fitted to U-2s at this point. The history of the U-2 program is fraught with fatalities and crashes. “CIA pilots Wilburn S.
Neill Richards Gruver
I flew the F-100 first in the Nellis AFB checkout program, then as Bomb Commander in the 48th at Chaumont and Lakenheath AFB. I was also assigned to fly numerous Functional Check Flights as an additional duty, Squadron Maintenance Officer. These flights were particularly interesting when assigned at Lakenheath. We would frequently have to wait for minimums and then top out over 30,000 feet to complete the Check Flight. I did not fly the F-100 in combat but flew the O-2A and OV-10 in Viet Nam.
From June 1981-January 1996 I held various banking positions retiring as Senior VP, Bank of America. My wife Donna Mae who I married on August 1st in 1953, passed away March 27, 2012, and my daughter Cynthia Ann, born in Chaumont, France, passed away March 1, 2017.
On April 2, 2016, I married Margo L (Ball) Gruver and my family increased by two stepchildren and two step-grandchildren. I now have three children, seven grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
Since 1996 and continuing today I volunteer for Church and Civic Organizations, travel & enjoy my grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I also continue to enjoy maintaining contact with all of the proud folks with whom I have served our Country.