a reply to: penroc3
Mine likely started as an infant.
Before I was born my pops was on track to being the first fillipino American fighter pilot. But due to my birth and a somewhat racist social climate
('63 and he married a white girl), he was declared ineligible to fly, just after he was accepted to flight school. He had "the right stuff" as it
were, excellent grades in school, letterman and record holder in football and track, college grad, but there was that fillipino thing.
I think he was quietly very bitter about that, as his uniform hung in the very back of the closet, when i was a kid, and he never took it out. And I
didn't learn this whole thing till I was an adult.
Hmmm, he raced his first motorcycle race right after that .
I started racing at 8.
I always had toy airplanes, pops had a 16th scale p51 gas model.
We would go out to the ANG base and watch the planes come in.
Then when I was about 7 i met one of my long time friends, and his dad was partners in a small helicopter Mfg. Co till his partner died testing an
experimental design. He took us to the Reno air races when I was 11and man what hoot that was.
And growing up when I did, there was no shortage of veterans that could regale you with tales of flying . I remember a former P61 pilot a P38
pilot, a teacher I had was a waist gunner on both 17's and 24's , two tours in Europe.
Both the 61 Amd 38 pilots flew in the Pacific, and they both had stories baiting Japanese aircraft into a chase.
Invariably the Japanese would give chase, while the black widow or lightning would stay just ahead and go into a steep high speed dive towards to the
water then pull up and watch the Japanese planes wings come of as they tried to pull up.
Also Pappy Boyington lived in my neighborhood, and would show up at school on occasion to give a talk.
Of my childhood friends, one became a F15 pilot then a U2 pilot(that ultimately took his life) , and his next door neighbor went on to a career in
the AF and just retired last year. Two became aeronautics engineers and worked on the B2, while not knowing each other did. Another went to become an
engineer for Lockheed.