The history of the 4th Fighter Wing includes many stories of great wingmen, including the incomparable team of Don Gentile and John Godfrey in World War II. By adjusting their tactics and working closely together in the air combat duels over Europe, they became two of the highest scoring American aces of the Second World War.
But an event occurred in March 1945 in which a wingman risked court-martial, imprisonment and even death to rescue the pilot he was assigned to cover. Remarkably, that wingman had almost been thrown out of the 4th Fighter Group multiple times by the very same pilot he would ultimately save.
Pierce McKennon displayed considerable musical talent as a young man. His mother wanted him to be a classical concert pianist. He actually received a music scholarship to the University of Arkansas. But despite his ability to play the piano, McKennon wanted to be a fighter pilot.