Sidney Jenkins Wright (Col USAF, Ret) “Headed West” on June 4, 2020.
Sid “Playboy” Wright, has “Flown West”, on June 4, 2020, to rejoin his many fighter pilot brothers at God’s Golden Airfield. His long-time friend, soul‑mate, and fiancée, Jan Menker, was at his side as he peacefully went wheels-up.
He is survived by his three children, Sean Wright (m. Joy Logue Wright), Jason Wright (grandsons Miles Forrester and Parker Wright), and Shannon Wright Clarke (m. Brian, granddaughter Taylor Wright Jones); his brother, Thomas C. Wright (m. Sandra), and his sister, Soni Wright Pool (m. Carleton). Sid’s extended family includes Tom Menker (m. Jennifer), and Steven Menker (granddaughter Liza Menker). He also leaves behind his many elder flying mates and friends, his drinking buddies, and those he mentored so skillfully.
Born to parents Elford and Reba Wright, in Soddy, TN, he eventually put Tennessee in his rearview mirror and headed south, graduating from Baylor University in 1955. Entering the Air Force, he earned his pilot wings flying the T‑33 jet at Greenville AFB, MS. He then flew on to meet his first true love, the F-100 Super Sabre, the “Hun”, at Chaumont AB, FR. And, for those who didn’t know Sid in those days, it’s easy to understand why his early mates labeled him with his permanent callsign
To say that Sid was a fighter pilot’s FIGHTER PILOT would be an understatement. His flying skills were exceptional … superb … as those who were fortunate to have flown with him and against him will tearfully attest. His awards and medals earned are too numerous to be detailed here, but they include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Crosses, Air Medals, Meritorious Service Medals, and numerous Longevity and Campaign Medals and Ribbons.
He flew a variety of warrior aircraft, including The F-100 Super Sabre, the F‑101 Voodoo, the F‑4 Phantom II, the A-7 Corsair, and other birds. His flying tours of duty after Chaumont included: RAF Lakenheath UK, RAF Bentwaters UK, Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, and Nellis AFB, NV. In 1973-75, he was blessed to serve a second tour at RAF Lakenheath as Commander of the 492nd Fighter Squadron, aka “The MadHatters”. And, as is too often the case, after one’s flying career ends, he served a staff tour (ptooey) at Headquarters Tactical Air Command at Langley AFB, VA. He retired from the Air Force in 1981 at Helenikon AB GR after serving in Joint US Military Aid Group – Greece (JUSMAGG).
Following retirement, he settled in Alexandria, VA, and worked in business development for Singer-Link, which became CAE, and then Raytheon. He then formed a company that trained foreign pilots in aviation and flying fundamentals. Fifteen years later, he moved to Diamondhead, MS, and, another decade later, took up his final residence in Longboat Key, FL.
Over the years, Sid held memberships in several Patriotic organizations, including the Super Sabre Society, the Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association, the Command Barstool Association, and the Air Force Association.
Sid’s passing leaves a huge empty hangar in our hearts, but with many loving, happy memories in our heads. Our Beloved Brother has gone on to a better place.
What else can be said? Sid “Playboy” Wright had a chance to do it all. And, then he did. On his departure flight, to make his full-stop landing at God’s Golden Airfield, he didn’t fly over the legendary Rainbow Bridge – that would have been too easy. “Playboy”, instead, flew UNDER the Rainbow Bridge.
We Love You, Sid. GODSPEED !!
(At some time in the future, Sid will be remembered with a Celebration of Life. An update will be posted here and on other sites with location, date, and time.)
In lieu of flowers, Jan, and Sid’s children and families, request that you make whatever donations you might deem appropriate, “In memory of Colonel Sid Wright”, to:
Air Warrior Courage Foundation (AWCF). All contributions are tax-deductible.
There are two (2) ways to donate.
1. Send a check to the AWCF, P.O. Box 877, Silver Spring, MD 20918. In a note or on the check, please say, “In Memory of Colonel Sid Wright.”
2. Using a credit card. Go to the home page at www.airwarriorcourage.org.
On the HOME page is a DONATE button. Click it and it will take you to a page with a GIVE DIRECT button. Click it and fill in the blanks. In the COMMENTS block, put in “In Memory of Colonel Sid Wright”.