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.


 
 

 
square

Luke conducts first F-35 training deployment

Senior Airman Thomas Spangler A 61st Fighter Squadron F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter taxis prior to take off April 15 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. Ten F-35s from the 61st Fighter Squadron were sent to Nellis for th...
 
 

The gift of leadership

Gen. Mark Welsh III may have said it best, “Leadership is a gift. It’s given by those who follow. You have to be worthy of it.” As the people of this nation give their children up to serve in the armed forces we as leaders need to be ready to lead them as they are...
 
 

Have faith in Air Force system

Throughout our Air Force careers, we have all received extensive training covering the Air Force core values — integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do. We talk about them on a daily basis in one capacity or another using them as buzz words to drive our point home or steer a...
 

 

Sidewinders fly missing-man formation

A missing-man formation flyover took place at the Air Force Academy Cemetery April 14, to honor a fallen Airman whose remains were repatriated and laid to rest. Pilots from the 311th Fighter Squadron of the 54th Fighter Group from Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, flew it. Capt. Richard Chorlins, U.S. Air Force Academy class...
 
 

Birth of a flagship

Courtesy photo An F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter taxis at Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth, Texas, facility just before its first flight March 31. This jet is one of several Lightning IIs destined for Luke Air Force Base in the near future after flight testing. Tail number 5056 is scheduled to be the 56th Fighter...
 
 

News Briefs April 24, 2015

Days of Remembrance There will be a Holocaust remembrance ceremony at 10 a.m. Thursday in the Luke Air Force Base Chapel sanctuary. The Hiding Place exhibit will be on display 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. May 1 in the chapel annex. AFA golf tournament The 16th Annual Air...
 




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