Saturday, June 5, 2010

Memorial Day Waymark

We had cached Cattaraugus County through the day and just begun our journey home when Ali spotted this Phantom in the American Legion parking lot. My Dad was a big plane and train buff and a little of that has stayed with me. Who could resist a stop for a new Waymark? Usually there is little information to find for planes in the static aircraft display. I was lucky this evening that a member of the Legion stopped by to tell me a bit of the history of this fighter. During Vietnam this fighter flew off the USS Coral Sea. It was hit by ground fire on its last mission. Its pilot Lt. Winston Copeland brought the burning plane back to the ship and kept it in the air long enough for the fire to die off before bringing it back onto the deck of the Coral Sea. I thought it an amazing find for a Memorial Day weekend. The plane and at the photo angle just seems to move.