November 3, 2017

The Greatest Generation

Steve Zapka
Edwards AFB, Calif.

Capt. Bob Wood, a World War II bomber pilot, arrives at Tehachapi Police Department in Tehachapi, Calif., followed by Lt. Col. Miles Middleton, 419th Flight Test Squadron commander, during a tour honoring the vet Oct. 28, 2017.

Edwards officer meets, honors World War II vet

A modern bomber pilot and a vintage bomber pilot, along with local veterans gathered for a tour and luncheon honoring 92-year-old Capt. Bob Wood’s accomplishments, Oct. 28. 2017.

Lt. Col. Miles Middleton, 419th Flight Test Squadron commander at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., joined veterans from Tehachapi, Calif., honoring the elder pilot, a B-17 bomber pilot with 35 combat missions over Germany in World War II.  Also joining the event was former Army Staff Sgt. John Greneck, who is a veteran of the Normandy invasion.

“It was really an honor to meet these gentlemen, and to pay respect to members of the Greatest Generation,” said Middleton.

Lt. Col. Miles Middleton, 419th Flight Test Squadron commander, thanks Capt. Bob Wood for his service. Wood is a decorated World War II B-17 bomber pilot who flew 35 Combat missions over Europe. Middleton is a B-52 pilot.

The day started with a tour of the Tehachapi Police Station, continued with a vintage aircraft restoration hangar tour at Tehachapi Municipal Airport, and concluded with a luncheon honoring the veteran pilot.

During the tour, Middleton, a B-52 pilot, discussed air power, the history of bomber aircraft, and spoke of Wood’s aviation accomplishments during the day’s events.

“When you think about bombers from now and from then, it is the same mission but a completely different set of circumstances,” Middleton said. “Then, it was a matter of national survival, now we are more focused on peace and stability throughout the world.”

Patriot Guard Riders escort Capt. Bob Wood, a World War II B-17 pilot, to Tehachapi Airport, for a visit to an aircraft restoration hangar during an event honoring Wood’s service.

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