Air Force

June 13, 2014

309 FS stands down, piano goes up in flames

Tags:
Airman 1st Class PEDRO MOTA
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

1st Lt. Tucker Browne, 309th Fighter Squadron pilot, plays Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” on the burning piano.

Engulfing a 100-year-old piano in flames would normally be frowned upon, but on this day Airmen encouraged pilots to set it ablaze.

The 309th Fighter Squadron invited Airmen from the 56th Operations Group to a block party May 30 at Luke Air Force Base.

“The 56th OG block party was held as a culmination of the 309th FS stand down,” said Capt. Clayton Bailey, 309th FS pilot. “It was a small celebration of the 309th’s long history.”

During the block party several events took place, but this one stood out from the rest. A piano was burned to ashes.

“The story behind this tradition is when a pilot did not return from a mission, his or her belongings and uniform were placed on a piano while various songs would be played,” Bailey said. “Somewhere along the line, one of the celebrations got out of hand and resulted in the piano being burned. It was established as a tradition to burn the piano during these celebrations.”

As time passed, the tradition developed an even more symbolic meaning. The 309th FS pilots revived the old tradition and celebrated the 309th FS stand down, much like the loss of a fallen comrade.

“While we all work together each and every day, we rarely have a social event to relax and get to know each other in a nonwork environment,” said Lt. Col. Stephane Wolfgeher, 309th FS commander. “The piano is burned due to a change, loss or some other transition in a fighter squadron’s life.”

After a time of dining and small talk amongst the revelers, the OG block party ended on a positive note. The Airmen from the 56th OG and their families gathered around the burning piano, celebrating the accomplishments of the 309th FS.




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


 
 

 
NEW_1

Luke F-35s visit Columbus AFB

Airman 1st Class Daniel Lile A T-6 Texan II roars overhead as the pilots of two Luke Air Force Base F-35 Lightning IIs prepare to exit their aircraft July 23 at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi. The pilots are Capt. Nichola...
 
 

Gillespie Loop: Honors Airman who made ultimate sacrifice

BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan — The men and women of the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing came together for a road dedication ceremony to honor Master Sgt. Randy Gillespie, a fallen Airman who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Master Sgt. Randy Gillespie was a career fuels specialist who died July 9, 2007, from wounds sustained during small...
 
 

Who’s afraid of a little blood?

I have been in the Air Force for 22 years and have been a medical laboratory technician since the beginning of my career. The medical or clinical laboratory is where specimens are tested to provide information to medical providers who directly assist in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease in patients. After graduating basic...
 

 

Pursue education for career’s sake

Everyone knows education can be a good bullet on an enlisted performance report, but few know the true value of an education in regard to a military career. The pursuit of an education can be just as valuable as the degree acquired at the end. The knowledge acquired in the pursuit of an education can...
 
 
Pg-3--photo-illustration

Candid money talk improves relationship

There are many reasons why people divorce but at the top of the list are lack of communication and finances. That’s why it’s important to combine these two topics to make for a successful long-lasting relationship. “I bel...
 
 

News Briefs July 31, 2015

Total body conditioning class A new total body conditioning class is 6:30 and 9 a.m. Monday and Wednesday. The 6:30 a.m. class is broken into two half hour segments to accommodate squadron or individual physical training. The 9 a.m. class is one hour. The class consists of body weight movements and the use of equipment...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>