Based on an “Enlisted Marine” who flew a P-51 aircraft during WWII. (Normally, only Commissioned Officers were pilots.) These "enlisted" pilots fought like hellions in air battles in the European and South Pacific theaters against greater trained enemy pilots and superior aircraft. They showed tenacity, guts, and heart in a belief they could stem the tide of tyranny. They crammed their bodies into tiny aircraft, and then hurled themselves across the skies, to protect America!
I wrote Tippy as a tribute to a Master Gunnery Sergeant Tippy that I had the pleasure and honor to have served with while I was enlisted in the Marines. I flew a few times as his crew chief.
Tippy was a salty old marine. A fair guy, but let’s just say, seasoned. Boy, did he have some stories. Some may have been “Fairy Tales," some the "God’s Honest Truth." You can never tell with the Marines. I was told early on in my Marine career, there are only two types of fairy tales told in the Corps; One begins with, “Once upon a time…” the other, “This is no Shit!”
Whatever the truth may have been, I wrote “Tippy” as a tribute, as I imagined this Flying Marine Sergeant might have been in WWll.
NEWSPAPER HEADLINE - 1942
Enlisted Men Become Fighter Pilots!
(Eleven become Generals)
Only Officers were supposed to be pilots. But despite discrimination, over 2,575 enlisted men are officially, “In the books!” as Pilots. These men flew under the banner of "Sergeant Pilots." Chuck Yeager, Carroll Shelby, and Walter Beech all started out as enlisted men.
These heroes are now lovingly referred to as, “Flying Peons.”
Lets' keep alive the histories of these enlisted, Sergeant Pilots who served bravely between 1912 and 1945. This is the story of just a few of those unsung heroes. One in particular, Tippy!
(This Is My "Fictional" Story Of Real Flying Sergeants!)