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WWII Fighter Pilots fulfill squadron's promise
30th Space Wing Public Affairs
April 7, 2017 | 1:55
Team Vandenberg facilitated a toast performed by WWII combat aviators, and retired Air Force officers, Maj. M. Eugene Johns, who also goes by the name Gene, and Col. Ralph Jenkins -- both former members of the 510th Fighter Squadron. The toast happened because of a pact made by personnel with the 510th FS that the last two surviving members of the unit, who flew combat missions during WWII, would toast from two bottles of brandy that have also survived the years. With family members of the fallen aviators determined to make this promise happen, Air Force senior officers became involved and found that McChord Field, near Seattle Washington and Vandenberg Air Force Base, were the two Air Force installations near Jenkins’ and Johns’ current residence. Johns, who currently lives in the city of Lompoc, 10 minutes from Vandenberg, and Jenkins who lives near Seattle, performed the toast over Facetime – with Johns inside Vandenberg’s Pacific Coast Club.