Memorial Day Message

Memorial Day Message

Memorial-Day-MessageThey were there in peace and war, active duty, Guard and Reserve, flying the world’s first aircraft capable of exceeding the speed of sound in level flight. The swept wings, high approach speeds and a few nasty habits gave it the reputation of a “dangerous” aircraft. Not so! according to those who flew her. They saw her as a trusty, dependable steed but one demanding of attention and care. They flew her across vast land masses and wide oceans in good weather and bad, day and night. They were in their early twenties, young once, sitting with nuclear weapons under their wings in alert shacks far from home with grizzled veterans teaching them to survive. They went to Europe and Africa and Asia carrying America’s military message – deterrence.  When the Berlin Wall went up, they rushed to Europe. When Russian ships headed for Cuba, they loaded weapons, sat in the cockpits and were ready to launch. When deterrence failed, they went to war in Southeast Asia providing early MiG-cap, dodging SAMs as Weasels, jinking through flak and AAA, providing CAS to ground troops and support to allies. They watched her replaced by more modern aircraft as she became a target drone or a spare parts source in the hot desert of the Davis-Monthan Boneyard. Alas, it was a magnificent era and they were part of it – aviation history – now it is Memorial Day and they remember the young faces, the laughter, the TDYs, O-clubs on a Friday night, the quiet of an early morning ramp prior to engine start, an MA-Deuce run-up, 15%, ignition, light-off, showing pins, check-in, taxi, the arming area, canopies closed, afterburners, light-on-the-star until on top, the radio calls and parachute beepers of those facing real danger – there are heroes amongst them, but none will admit it. The reward for some is a name on the Vietnam Wall. For others it is simply that we remember them, especially on this day – WE FLEW THE HUN – We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. ONWARD AND UPWARD!

Happy Memorial Day from the board and officers of the Super Sabre Society – Shep, Eddie, Hoppy, Dick, Jim, Medley, Schulzie, Dave, Win, Dewey, Pete

Don Shepperd, President
Eddie Bracken, Vice President
Hoppy Hopkins, CEO
Dick Pietro, Director at Large
Jim Williford, Secretary
John Schulz, Editor, The Intake
Medley Gatewood, Publisher, The Intake
Dave Hatten, Treasurer
Win Reither, CIO
Dewey Clawson, Membership Chairman
Pete Collins, Legal Advisor