Bill Lightfoot was in his fourth year in a small Presbyterian liberal arts college in South Carolina in 1941 when he got his civilian pilots license. He decided to quit school and become an aviation instructor for he United States Government.
Don Bunger was in “Class 45-B,” the last class of pursuit pilots to graduate from Carlstrom Field in Arcadia, Fla. at the end of World War II. He soloed and got his wings flying a Stearman PT-17 two cockpit biplane just days before the program closed for good.
This interview first appeared in the Charlotte Sun newspaper, Port Charlotte, Fla. on Sunday, March 5, 2006 and is republished with permission. Learning to fly a Stearman PT-17 “Kaydet” fabric-covered, two-seat biplane at Carlstrom Field in Arcadia, Fla. in 1943 was a far cry from piloting a B-26 “Marauder” twin-engine attack bomber against a heavily…
A gorgeous but lethal P-51 Mustang fighter plane knifing its way through puffy white clouds seemed to fly off the wall at De Carter Brown’s Port Charlotte, Fla. studio.