Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Memorial

The Aviator Memorial at NAS Lemoore (Source)
About a year ago The WSO let me know about the effort to raise a memorial to those Naval Aviators who lost their lives in the line of duty. The Lexicans and others raised a lot of money to help make this happen.

The statue was emplaced yesterday, the 4th of October 2014.

During construction the group posted a number of photos showing progess.
Look at the brick on the lower left.
 (Source)

A lot of people worked hard to make this happen. Thanks to all of them and those who contributed the necessary funds.

I'll post more photos when The WSO gets back from Key West.

Until then...

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds -
and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of -
wheeled and soared and swung high in the sunlit silence.
Hovering there I've chased the shouting wind along
and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air.

Up, up the long delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,
where never lark, or even eagle, flew;
and, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
the high untrespassed sanctity of space,
put out my hand and touched the face of God

Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee, Jr. RCAF

12 comments:

  1. I'm a bubblehead, but wish I had known in able to contribute. For Lex, and all the others. Anything in continuation?

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  2. Glad they finally got it done!

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    Replies
    1. So fitting, this tribute. They will never be forgotten.

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    2. I know. The reason for this memorial breaks my heart.

      But I'm proud to remember them.

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  3. They were all worthy men. I saw the one at the top center. Curiously enough, I remember Captain Estocin's marker on the other side of Cabrillo Drive at Fort Rosecrans. I used to drive up there on Memorial Days. He never came home.

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    1. Captain Estocin's official Medal of Honor citation reads:

      For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on 20 and 26 April 1967 as a pilot in Attack Squadron 192, embarked in USS Ticonderoga (CVA-14). Leading a 3-plane group of aircraft in support of a coordinated strike against two thermal power plants in Haiphong, North Vietnam, on 20 April 1967, Capt. Estocin provided continuous warnings to the strike group leaders of the surface-to-air missile (SAM) threats, and personally neutralized 3 SAM sites. Although his aircraft was severely damaged by an exploding missile, he reentered the target area and relentlessly prosecuted a SHRIKE attack in the face of intense antiaircraft fire. With less than 5 minutes of fuel remaining he departed the target area and commenced in-flight refueling which continued for over 100 miles. Three miles aft of Ticonderoga, and without enough fuel for a second approach, he disengaged from the tanker and executed a precise approach to a fiery arrested landing. On 26 April 1967, in support of a coordinated strike against the vital fuel facilities in Haiphong, he led an attack on a threatening SAM site, during which his aircraft was seriously damaged by an exploding SAM; nevertheless, he regained control of his burning aircraft and courageously launched his SHRIKE missiles before departing the area. By his inspiring courage and unswerving devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger, Captain Estocin upheld the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)