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.


 
 

 
DT_JTC0216

Supreme allied commander comes home

Gen. Philip Breedlove, left, NATO supreme allied commander, Europe, visited Luke Air Force Base Sept. 12. Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, right, 56th Fighter Wing commander, briefed the general on Luke’s evolving mission to train F-3...
 
 
Senior Airman Grace Lee

Command post chief averts potential disaster

Senior Airman Grace Lee Capt. George Normandin, 56th Fighter Wing Command Post chief, received the Aviation Safety Well Done Award Sept. 2, presented by Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, 56th FW commander. Normandin took control of an F-...
 
 

You are what you eat

“You are what you eat.” This is a generic statement or a notion. It implies that if you eat healthy, you will be healthy. But how true is this in the world today? What we eat, drink, wear, drive and buy is often an attempt to construct a social identity. It lets others know who...
 

 

Knowledge equals power

The phrase “knowledge is power” is said to originate from Sir Francis Bacon in 1597. Personally, I remember learning the phrase from the old television show “School House Rock” theme song. The key idea behind the phrase is the more knowledge you accumulate, the more “power” you will have. Here is a simple breakdown: knowledge...
 
 
Senior Airman
MARCY COPELAND

EOD Airman changed for good by life experiences

Senior AirmanMARCY COPELAND Tech. Sgt. David Gerig’s, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal team chief, first assignment after technical school was Kadena Air Base, Japan. The challenges in life are often w...
 
 

News Briefs September 19, 2014

CFC kick-off The 56th Fighter Wing Combined Federal Campaign kick-off charity fair is 9 a.m. Monday in Bldg. 1130 auditorium. Learn about the 2014 campaign ‘Serving Our Country. Supporting Our Community.’ and visit with local charities. For more information, call Maj. Jennifer Preyer-Bonton at 623-856-7144. Hispanic Heritage Month National Hispanic Heritage Month began Monday and...
 




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