Friday, June 05, 2020

Fullbore Friday

A life well lived Admiral.

A life well lived.
“One day an airplane landed at the airport and a guy walked into the hangar wearing Navy whites, and a yellow convertible comes screeching around the hangar and a blonde jumps out and gives him a big smooch, and off they went.”

The young men’s flight instructor, seeing how captivated they were, suggested that they check out a Navy air training center in Michigan.

“We went up there and found out what the Navy stuff was all about and they said, ‘Hey, we’ll take you this afternoon,’” Admiral Feightner said. “So we signed up.”

He entered active duty after graduating from Findlay in 1941, received his wings in April 1942 and was assigned to a squadron based in Hawaii and commanded by the fighter pilot Butch O’Hare, a Medal of Honor recipient and one of America’s early war heroes. Lieutenant Commander O’Hare nicknamed him Whitey as a little joke, since he turned deep red instead of tanning in the Hawaiian sun. He was known as Whitey Feightner thereafter.
Admiral Feightner was credited with his first “kill” when he shot down a Japanese dive bomber off the Santa Cruz Islands in October 1942. He downed three torpedo bombers off Rennell Island on Jan. 30, 1943, and became an ace (a pilot with at least five kills) when he shot down a Zero fighter off the Palau island chain in March 1944.

He shot down another Zero off Truk in April 1944 and downed three Zeros off Formosa (now Taiwan) on Oct. 12, 1944.
He was promoted to rear admiral in 1970 and retired four years later, becoming a corporate consultant to the Navy.
“If you can’t stay calm and focused in a crisis, you have no business being a fighter pilot,” Admiral Feightner told Investor’s Business Daily in 2015. “It’s a matter of life and death, not only for you but those you’re defending.”
Admiral Feightner passed away in early April, his passing lost in much of the COVID-19 madness.

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