Thursday, May 23, 2013

In Memory

It's a poignant weekend for me. Tomorrow will be five years since my father passed away. Had he lived 45 more minutes, he would have been 85 years old.
 
My father joined the US Army Air Corps December 8, 1945. He served as the top turret gunner on a B-17 crew that was shot down over Sicily, where he was captured. After spending almost two years in prisoner-of-war camps in Italy, Germany, and Austria, he came home to marry my mother.
 
1945
 
 
He tried his hand at farming for a little while, but quickly found out he couldn't make a living on sweet potatoes. He rejoined the Air Force and served sixteen more years before retiring from flying airplanes and starting a second career making them.
 
My father was a supporter of the Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, and when it was dedicated October 14 & 15, 2006, he obtained tickets to the Saturday dedication ceremony and Sunday memorial service for our entire family, then took my brothers, sister-in-law, and me to Washington together. It was a special time. My brothers were fifteen and twelve when I was born, so this was the only family vacation I remember us taking all together.
 
In honor of the anniversary of my Dad's passing, his 90th birthday, and Memorial Day, between now and Monday I'd like to use the patriotic theme of the pictures from that trip to honor him and all our armed forces.

Pretty much the extent of all the marching Daddy ever did in the Air Force.

 

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 




Major William I. Craton, US Air Force, Ret.

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