Salutes & Awards

March 21, 2014

WWII vet returns 70 years after earning wings at Luke

Lt. Col. Chris Bacon, 308th Fighter Squadron commander, coins 1st Lt. Ken Sadick, a World War II veteran, March 15 at Luke Air Force Base’s Open House and Air Show. Sadick, 90, graduated from Luke Field in March 1944, receiving his wings exactly 70 years ago this month.

The Luke Air Force Base Open House and Air Show is not only a great opportunity for the public to experience the capabilities of the Air Force, but it also draws many who have served their country to reminisce on their active-duty days while checking out their old planes on display. For one World War II veteran, the return to Luke was particularly special.

Nearly 90 years old, Kenneth Sadick, a WWII pilot, returned to Luke on March 15 for the open house and air show exactly 70 years after being awarded his wings at the Army Air Corps’ Luke Field. “It’s a nostalgic feeling to be back here,” he said. “It’s a very patriotic feeling. Seeing all the jets and people who make things happen here leaves me with one feeling – pride.”

Sadick enlisted after the attacks on Pearl Harbor. He, along with most young people at the time, were united in their desire to take the fight to the Japanese, Sadick said. To his dismay, he was sent instead to Germany to fight.

“It wasn’t my first choice, but I was still excited to take the fight to the enemy,” he said.

Sadick flew more than 70 combat missions during WWII in his P-47 Thunderbolt with his wife’s name, Norma, painted on its side. He recalls one of his first missions during which he learned an important lesson about protecting what the Air Force now calls personally identifiable information.

“When I was first in Germany, I hadn’t completed 10 missions yet, when I was coming out of a dive bomb run and got hit by a German 20mm through the left wing,” he said. “I got so excited I got on the radio and said, ‘Colonel Morsey, this is Sadick, I’ve been hit.’ I heard no response. I made it back and got called into the colonel’s office. ‘The Germans already know enough about us. When we’re on the radio, I am Red 1.’”

Another mission left Sadick alone and out of gas.

“It was 1944. We were going on a long-range mission into Germany,” he said. “We used additional external fuel tanks for the distance. When I released a bomb I also dropped the extra fuel tank so we could get a little extra boom. When coming out of the dive my engine quit. Everyone else continued back while I tried to think fast about what was happening. I found that my fuel supply switch had been moved to the external tanks that I just dropped. I switched to my internal tanks and it kicked back on in time to recover.”

Upon hearing of Sadick’s reunion with his training base, Lt. Col. Chris Bacon, 308th Fighter Squadron commander, wanted to meet the war hero.

“These guys are our heroes,” Bacon said. “These are the ones who pushed me to become a fighter pilot. It was an honor to get to speak with this WWII fighter pilot.”

Bacon honored the hero by performing the military tradition of coining Sadick. “Being able to recognize a hero from WWII is an honor for me,” Bacon said. “We truly walk in the shadows of the giants who came before us.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Senior Airman 
JAMES HENSLEY

MWD Roy — partner, friend passes

Senior AirmanJAMES HENSLEY Staff Sgt. Scott Emmick, 56th Security Forces Squadron Military Working Dog handler, and Roy, 56th SFS MWD, play Dec. 14, 2012, at the at Luke Air Force Base kennels. The MWD and handler team plays to...
 
 

46 graduate ALS in class 15-1

The 56th Fighter Wing Airman Leadership School graduated 45 senior airmen and one staff sergeant Dec. 11 from class 15-1. The graduates are senior airmen unless otherwise noted. John L. Levitow award: Nathaniel Gladney, 56th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Distinguished graduates: Matthew Goodspeed, 56th Operations Support Squadron; Russell Hires, 56th Medical Support Squadron; James Gilmore, 56t...
 
 
Staff Sgt. 
STACI MILLER

Top cop visits Luke

Staff Sgt.STACI MILLER Brig. Gen. Allen J. Jamerson, Air Force Security Forces director and deputy chief of staff for logistics, installations and mission support, met with defenders from the 56th Security Forces Squadron Dec. ...
 

 

A1C takes pleasure in honoring warriors

Being in the Luke Air Force Base Honor Guard takes a lot of dedication and motivation. Working countless hours and memorizing numerous movements for different ceremonies is a lot for anyone to handle. There are also many emotions that come with honoring those who have lost their lives in the service, but Airman 1st Class...
 
 
Photos by Staff Sgt. Staci Miller

Top Hats graduate 15 into combat air force

Photos by Staff Sgt. Staci Miller The 310th Fighter Squadron graduated 15 F-16 Fighting Falcon pilots in Class 14-CBG. They are, from left, 1st Lt. Daniel Brom, Capt. Ben Saunders, 1st Lts. Michael Sturgis, Mike Dreher, Luis Mo...
 
 
141119-F-HT977-165

Chiefs announced

Senior master sergeants selected for promotion to chief master sergeant at Luke Air Force Base posed in front of the static F-16 Fighting Falcon in front of the wing headquarters building. They are, from left, Kelbey Norton, 56...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin