Farewell, to those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines
The AVG Flying Tigers Association posted the terrible news this weekend:
“Frank Losonsky, the last living AVG Flying Tiger, headed West today, on 6 February 2020. RIP Frank, a Crew Chief of the 3rd Squadron “Hell’s Angels” was 99 and would have celebrated his 100th birthday this coming October. Frank had an early celebration of his 96th birthday at our Atlanta Reunion by performing two barrel rolls in a P-40. Frank was in the back seat and gave the pilot his usual “thumbs up”. Frank was the Eveready Bunny who never stopped…!!”
Meanwhile, the Times reports that Wing Commander Paul Caswell Powe Farnes, DFM, AE, the RAF fighter pilot and the last surviving ace of the Battle of Britain, chalking up eight kills in Hurricanes and Spitfires, died on 28 January in West Sussex, England. He was 101. There are reportedly just two surviving members of The Few.
In semi-related news, actor Robert Conrad, who portrayed legendary Marine Maj. Gregory “Pappy” Boyington in the Baa Baa Black Sheep tv series, died Sunday at 84.
The show guaranteed the oft-maligned F4U Corsair will be forever remembered and that the Marines will always have a VMF-214, a squadron that currently flies AV-8Bs out of MCAS Yuma and plans to shift to F-35Bs next year.