Happy 109th birthday to Billy Fiske, from The Billy Fiske Foundation and Friends. Today, 4 June 2020, we would like to remember Fiske’s life & all that he stood for: justice, bravery, and the enduring friendship between the US & UK. Please enjoy this special birthday “Shout-Out” from a few of your friends.
The death of George Floyd was unconscionable. I am outraged, as everyone should be, by the conduct of the police in Minneapolis. The murder by Derek Chauvin was senseless, but even more appalling was that three officers, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao, and J Alexander Kueng stood by and did nothing. They stood by and did nothing! The outrage that has followed and the response to it should be a wakeup call for all of us.
June 4th marks the 109th birthday of Billy Fiske, the first American pilot to die in World War II. Fiske was only 29 when he died from wounds sustained during the Battle of Britain.
I was delighted when Kevin Billings invited me to write a short piece about how Billy Fiske’s sacrifice in 1940 exemplifies the UK/US Special Relationship and, in particular, the unique relationship between the USAF and RAF.
On 12 July 2017, I took command of the 501st Combat Support Wing at RAF Alconbury then immediately drove to RAF Fairford so I could oversee the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT). While attending the RIAT Gala Dinner, extremely jetlagged but happily enjoying cold beverages, I saw this RAF Group Captain who looked a lot like one of our old USAF Assistant Secretaries for Installations, Environment and Logistics – Kevin Billings.