Letters to the Editor

Letter: Fighter jet story brings back memories of World War II pilot

I enjoyed your article (TCH, Sept. 26) about Marine Capt. Joshua Southerland, who checked out an F/A-18 fighter jet in California and flew to the Tri-Cities for the weekend at a cousin’s wedding.

He sounded like a fine young man with an interesting life and by doing this, he was able to gain weekend flight time in that plane, which is so important in the flying business.

It reminded me of a friend of ours, Chris Chriesman, who after flying 72 missions in a B-26 bomber over Germany as pilot during World War II, was sent back to the states as an instructor at Myrtle Beach, S.C., until the end of the war. While there, he met a young woman named Lee who lived some distance away in South Carolina. He would “check out” a B-26 for the weekend, fly down and buzz the farm where she lived so she could go to the local airport to pick him up.

I figured that they wouldn’t do that any more, but I was proved wrong as I read the story of Southerland doing just that.

Our friends were married in 1945 and had 69 years together until Chris passed away last fall while living near Eltopia, still loving the flying business.

Jan Dorman