Flight 32 Last Flights - In Memoriam
Dick Partridge made his last flight on 10 April 2016, probably in an F-8U Crusader. He had been unable to participate regularly for several months due to failing health, but came to meetings whenever he could get out. His flying career included many aircraft and many different types of jobs, but his heart was focused at its roots on training young flyers. He is missed!
Col Lorenz F. Wustner finally lost his battle with health issues related to aging. He made his Last Flight in Creswell, Oregon, where he had gone to be near his daughter after living solo became too challenging. His and his wife Pat’s ashes will be interred together in his hometown, Plains, Montana, on 20 November 2014.
Larry’s flying career was as a fighter pilot and included two tours in SEA. When Type II diabetes grounded him a few years after his last combat tour, he threw himself into aircraft maintenance and systems management with the same enthusiasm and excellence he had displayed in the cockpit.
Larry was a gentleman in every sense of the word, with a remarkably dry sense of humor, and had exceptional humility for a fighter pilot. We will miss him a great deal.
Jack was one of the good guys. A B-29 pilot during the last months of WWII in the assault on the Japanese mainland, he went on to a career with Frontier Airlines. Predeceased by his wife, Mary Alene, he was active in the Commemorative (formerly Confederate) Air Force and 32nd Flight (Pioneer), Order of Daedalians, for as long as his health allowed.
Mel left us after a long battle with the aftereffects of a severe stroke. He was a true gentleman, loving husband, brilliant photographer, loyal flight member, fighter pilot, and one of the few members of the Class of ’59, the first graduating class at the United States Air Force Academy. We will all miss him!
Bill Sleeper made his last flight on Monday, 12 August 2013 after a long period of ill health. He was a transplant into Pioneer Flight in the spring of 2012, after moving to the area from Oregon, where he had been very active as a docent at the Evergreen Air Museum. Bill was born in Sonora, CA on 26 November 1924. His flying career included missions in WWII, where he flew the P-38, Korea, and Vietnam. His many decorations were capped by the Silver Star. Bill became ill shortly after joining our flight and was unable to be very active with us. His funeral services will be held on Wednesday, 21 August 2013 in Roy, UT.
JJ was a quiet man…an unusual characteristic for a fighter pilot…with a great sense of humor, who supported Pioneer Flight activities whenever his health permitted. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him. Services are pending as of this writing.
Tom Cox made his Last Flight after a typically intense battle against some long-standing infections that had suddenly turned acute and vicious. His droll sense of humor tempered his take-no-prisoners approach to his views on life in general, ever making him an interesting guy to be around. His service to Pioneer Flight took several forms, including a long stint as Treasurer which served to keep me out of trouble in my early days as Flight Captain. We also discovered early in our acquaintance that we had very nearly shared the same airspace on a day decades earlier in Turkey, when I was flying the first plane to pass over the site where he had just ridden out a crash landing. He took my resident grandson up in his homebuilt plane and gave him his first butt-above-his-head experience. Tom was a true friend and I shall miss him very much.