In response to our country’s call, 51 young men came from 23 states across the nation, from a variety of backgrounds. They meshed into a smooth, deadly combat team that wrote a glorious page in Marine Corps and American history.
It was a time of high adventure. Those flyboys had the support of every American. No janefondas or ramseyclarks carped in the background or gnawed at that support. The keyword that keeps coming up in every recollection about those days is “camaraderie” the loyalty and warm, friendly feeling among comrades. Founded on their unique beginning, forged in the crucible of battle, their loyalties were firm; their desire to achieve intense. The friendships formed during those 84 days of combat when those pilots spearheaded the drive that broke the Japanese opposition in the Solomons, have remained steady for over 40 years.
They gave their lives; others their blood. All gave something of themselves.
The survivors became a part of the warp and woof of our country, blending into the fabric of America. They became doctor, lawyer, merchant, chief, airline pilot, printer, architect, banker, artist, and professor.
But once they were eagles.