hey.. I know that guy....
yup, that's the Pat Buzzeo that my late brother Mikey (aka MinnFlyer) wrote this father's day piece about
Dad (or as we refer to him these days, 'Gramps') was awarded the Bronze Star for having his P-51 Complete 100 Combat missions without ever having to return for a mechanical failure... (as is typical of guys from this era, ask Jessie about it, it was Pat's knowledge about the airplane... ask my Dad about it, 'Jessie has balls of steel and NEVER would have brought that airplane home without having had half a wing shot off')
Jessie was a Trumpet player before the war, his band's theme song and Jessie's personal favorite was Ain't Misbehavin.
Dad joined the service shortly after Dec7th 1941, and (fearful of being assigned flying bomber duties) told them he had claustrophobia... so they made him a crew chief instead.
Ain't Misbehavin' was actually Dad's third P-51... his only 'D' model.
the first two were 'B' models, Sebastian which was declared 'War Weary' and retired from Service in early 1943,
and Sebastian Jr which was destroyed in an accident on takeoff in Italy in early 1944.
(it was typical to take off in tandem... two airplanes in a lead / wingman formation... on a dirt runway.... being number 40 or so in line I wonder how in the heck they didn't destroy more airplanes like that...
) the Pilot lost visual orientation, ground looped and destroyed the airplane, fortunately he escaped uninjured.
(imaging taking off a 1500 HP TAILDRAGGER... from a 1500 foot dirt strip... with an identical beast eight feet off your wingtip...
just another day.)
Both Jessie and My Dad Pat are both still alive, although both in their 90's. Gramps' health unfortunately is failing quickly.
They are still one of the very few Pilot / Crew Chief pairs that are still alive.
He taught me, both my Brothers (now both deceased) and literally hundreds of kids and adults the joy of RC flying...
he's one heck of a guy and I know I had one heck of a childhood as a result.