Veterans Flight – 2019 Pensacola Beach Air Show
After Action Report #2 – 30 August 2019
Dick Pace - Lima Bravo #4
It’s difficult to believe seven weeks have passed since Veterans Flight 2019, but good things have been happening. I recently had the pleasure of presenting Navy F6F-5 "Hellcat" pilot Dick Pace with Veterans Flight’s Lima Bravo award #4 during a combined Pace family reunion and celebration of his 100th birthday.
In order to qualify for the Lima Bravo award a veteran must fly with Veterans Flight during the Pensacola Beach Air Show and celebrate their 100th birthday. As the 4th recipient of the Lima Bravo award Dick joins a select group. This year Navy veteran and Pearl Harbor Survivor Frank Emond (Lima Bravo #2), Army B-25 pilot John Beard (Lima Bravo #3) and Dick all flew with us again. Lima Bravo #1, Army B-29 pilot Paul McClain, flew with Veterans Flight 2015 and 2016 before celebrating his 101st birthday during Veterans Flight 2017. We hoped Paul would fly again on his 102nd birthday but he "flew West" in April 2018.
Dick flew with Veterans Flight 2014‘s first formation flights and has flown with us every year since. He and Army B-25 pilot John Beard (Lima Bravo #3) are the only veterans who have flown in every Veterans Flight and we’re looking forward to both flying again in 2020. Veterans Flight needs to send the National Museum of Naval Aviation a thank-you note as the museum graciously allows Dick to “borrow” his World War II flight suit each year. In addition to being in good enough shape that his 75+ years old flight suit still fits perfectly, Lima Bravo #4 drives himself to the airport in his 600+ horsepower RENNtech Mercedes SL.
Albert Lane - Army B-17 Pilot
On Friday 23 August 2019 Veterans Flight, in conjunction with Covenant Care’s “My Wish” program, was honored to fly Army B-17 pilot Albert Lane over the Pensacola Blue Wahoos' Stadium.
Thanks to ground-to-air radio communication by the professionals from the Appleyard Agency, the Stearman carrying Captain Lane flew into view following the National Anthem as a video featuring Captain Lane transitioned to the American flag.
Captain Lane, who is 97 years old, needed a little help to get into the front cockpit of the Stearman, but he thoroughly enjoyed his flight and later introduction to the crowd at the stadium.
Pensacola News Journal reporter Josh Newby’s story was front page, above the fold of Sunday’s local section.
Captain Albert Lane in Europe During World War II
Captain Lane and His B-17 Crew