Ah, I should have been able to guess that one!
I haven't read the book. Will add it to my list...
Ah, I should have been able to guess that one!
Yeah, some men have mistresses, I have books!
Colonel Robert Edwin “Sky King” Darlington (Ret.)
Colonel Robert Edwin Darlington, affectionately known as Sky King, passed away on February 16, 2008, at the Lamun-Lusk-Sanchez Texas State Veterans Home in Big Spring, Texas.He was born in Denton, Texas, on August 7, 1929. He was 78. Colonel Darlington had a remarkable and distinguished thirty year career in the United States Air Force. He served his nation as a jet fighter pilot in two wars. In November of 1949 he joined the Air Force graduating in the Aviation Cadet Class of 50G. Following he went to James Connley Air Force Base in Waco, Texas, Williams Air Force Base near Phoenix, and Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas where he trained in the F-80. He flew missions in the Korean War out of Itazuki, Japan and Kimpo Air Force Base in Korea.
On July 5, 1951, Sky King’s plane crashed and burned shortly after take off due to plane malfunction. He was pulled from burning wreckage and his life saved by two Korean women working in the rice fields. He was hospitalized with severe burns until September 1952 at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. In 1952 he went to Squadron Officers Training School at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. Upon graduation he went to Nellis Air Force Base training in the F86. His next assignment to Korea was cancelled due to the signed truce. Instead he went to Cannon Air Force Base in Clovis, New Mexico. November 1954, the day before Thanksgiving, brought new assignments for Lt. Darlington. He was stationed in Luxembourg and Etain, France until Christmas of 1955 and in Bitburg, Germany from 1955 – 1957 where he flew the F100. From 1957-1958 he was stationed in Oklahoma. In 1958-1960 he was at the 12th Air Force Headquarters in Waco, Texas. He was stationed in Japan with the 5th Air Force Headquarters from 1961-1964. Re-stationed at 12th Air Force Headquarters in Waco, Texas from 1964-1966. He served in the Vietnam War flying reconnaissance in the Skyraider from 1966-1967. He served with the Royal Air Force in Weathersfield, England from 1967-1968 and with the Royal Air Force Woodbridge from 1968-1970. He went on to Headquarters TAC and was Chief of Flight Safety from 1970 – 1972 in Virginia. His last assignment was at Dobbins Air Force Base in Marietta, Georgia. There, where he was dubbed The Silver Fox, he worked as the Air Force Advisor to the Georgia Air National Guard from 1972 – 1980. Before he retired, he supervised the unit’s switch from transports to F100’s and F105’s.
His awards include: Aviation Cadet Training Distinguished Graduate, Purple Heart with Device, The Distinguished Flying Cross, The Air Force Commendation Medal (First Oak Leaf Cluster), The Bronze Star Medal with Valor (First Oak Leaf Cluster), Air Medal with 5 Devices, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Silver Star, Republic of Vietnam Medal of Honor, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with 2 Devices, Korean Service Medal with 2 Devices, Air Force Longevity Service Award with 6 Devices, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with 2 Devices, United Nations Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Army Occupation Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, Combat Readiness Medal.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank Darlington and Madge Fyffe Darlington, of Austin, Texas; siblings, Frank Darlington, Jr. and his wife, Carol, of Seattle, Washington; Mary Elizabeth Moss and her husband, Winston, of Palos Verdes, California; and William Darlington of Palos Verdes, California; brother-in-law Guy Chandler, of Hearne, Texas.Since retirement in 1980 from the Air Force, Sky King lived in Midland, Texas, flying for Tiger Charter, a private jet charter service. During Tiger Charter days he was a popular pilot on board with many rock bands. Befriending Jimmy Buffet, he would teach Jimmy how to fly single props on their days between traveling and concerts. Jimmy affectionately called him Captain Bob. Col. Darlington is responsible for restarting the High School ROTC in both Midland and Lee High Schools. Today there are over 80 members in the program.
He is survived by his loving wife of 54 years, Barbara Darlington; Daughter, Rebecca Townsend and husband, Jay, of Cornwall on Hudson, New York, and their children, Richard and James Harrison of Manhattan, Jonathan, Emerson and Oliver; daughter, Carol Merenda and her husband, David, of Suwanee, Georgia, and their children, Erin Booe and her husband, Ritchie, and their children Mariah and Ritchie Jr. of Missouri City, Texas, Angelo of Washington D.C., James Howell, of Meridian, Mississippi, Frank and Nicholas; son, John Darlington and his wife, Tami Lemons, of Dallas, Texas, and their children, Megan Madge and Sarah Grace; daughter, Mary Madge Darlington and her partner, Lisa Moore, of Austin, Texas, and their children, Max and Milo; and sister, Dorothy Chandler of Hearne, Texas and her family.
I have already paid homage to the Gnat. I am sitting here thinking that I have been bitten my Midges but have never seen anything but the insect fly, although I know that the Midge was a demonstrator for the Gnat to come, Petter's last aircraft as it were.