Yes, I had the distinct privilege and honor of meeting a WWII combat pilot tonight. He is the father of one of the ladies in our Sunday night Bible study group. After the study, I sat down next to him and asked him one question, "How did you get interested in aviation?" Well, over 30 minutes later he was still going strong so I gently interrupted him and told him I wanted to resume the conversation the next time he visited Rockwall again.
What an amazing generation he was a part of! One of the things he mentioned was how every single pilot in flight school dreamed of becoming a combat pilot. Nearly all of them already had a wife and some had kids, but the overwhelming attitude was one of patriotism and determination to stop anyone who would threaten our freedom. He said he kept begging to go to the "action" but was so proficient as a flying instructor that he was kept stateside to train others. Finally he got his wish late in the war and flew missions against the Japanese prior to the dropping of the atomic bombs. He mentioned that he also rode a train through Hiroshima some time later and that made an incredible impression on him.
What a national treasure these men (and women) are! Tom Brokaw was correct in his calling them "the greatest generation". And soon they will no longer be amongst us. That's why I was so honored to shake Ken Scattergood's hand tonight and thank him for his sacrifice to our country.
Oh, yeah, he even walked away from a "crash and burn" accident at one point in his aviation career.