A great man who loved to fly was my Father. He was indeed a great man, a wonderful husband and the best Father anyone could ever want.
At age seventeen my Father took on a job in a small airport in Moorestown, New Jersey pumping gas for planes that were there, and planes that landed from other airports. He became very interested in flying and started to study aviation.
He met many pilots, and learned so much from each and everyone of them. He then knew that flying and being a pilot would be his love and passion in life.
After he studied and passed all the tests necessary to get his pilots license, he began doing some crop dusting with a Bi-plane. The more he flew the more he loved it. In order for my father to have money for his future of flying, and owning his own plane, he got a job making submarine nets. ( if I recall that is what I understood from him) While working on these nets, one snapped and hit him in his eye, and from that moment on he was completely blind in the eye that was injured.
He then was drafted into the U.S. Army where he wanted in the worse way to be able to continue his dreams of flying and protecting our Country, The United States of America. After putting in to be a pilot in our Military they told my Father, “how can we let you fly a jet worth millions of dollars with the disability you have being blind in one eye?”
This broke my dads heart, because he had his heart set on flying for our Military. So instead, he became a MP in the U.S. Army, and then a Medic to help others that were wounded in battle in WWII.
After his 4 years served in the War he went to school at the (Rising Sun School of Aeronautics) where he learned how to rebuild not only small aircraft engines, but Jet Turbines that our Military uses in our Fighter Jets then and today. He received his A&P (aircraft and power plant) licence and was Commercial rated. He then got hired by our United States Government to test and rebuild Jet Engines for our Military jets.
He started out being a apprentice, and worked his way up to Foreman of the Naval Air Propulsion Test Center in Trenton, New Jersey. He worked there until he retired at age 56, with 30 years under his belt working for the Federal Government. After his retirement my dad flew everyday weather permitting until his death at age 81.
In the year 2000, my Dad was diagnosed with Multiple Myloma. This cancer he had still didn’t stop my Dad from flying each day. He lived for 3 years with this cancer getting chemo throughout the 3 years. My Father was a strong and determined man and nothing would hold him back from flying his plane (The Red Barron – photo above) not even the deadly cancer that he had.
After his chemo treatments he went right to the hanger where his plane was, brought it out and fired up the engine for one more flight in the blue skies above. He flew that plane (Grumman) up until 3 weeks before he died. The cancer finally took over his body, and my dear dad could no longer live his dreams that he had done for 64 years, flying the blue skies.
Now my Father is flying with the angels in Heaven watching over my sister and I.
God Bless you Dad, and my God speed! I love you and miss you!