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May 27, 2022
StantonMac Monkey see monkey do
I love the Top Gun movies, but my dad was a real Top Gun
Top Gun isn't just a movie title - it's the award given to the most outstanding pilot at various fighter competitions around the globe. The Air Force has theirs. The Navy has theirs. There are joint competitions as well.

My dad won his first title in the F-100, taking Top Gun of his weapons class. He won four consecutive Top Gun awards at Joint Navy/Air Force competitions in the 70s. In 1982 he wasn't a full-time flyer anymore, but the wing he commanded (18th TFW) made the long journey from Kadena AFB (Okinawa) to Tyndall AFB (Florida) and took first place in that - scoring a perfect score in guns. I still have a hat he brought home from that one.

His obituary from the Air Force Academy "alumni group" (for lack of a better term), which was written by his good friend and classmate, contained this observation:

He was first, foremost, and always a fighter pilot, and he was recognized as one of the best everywhere in the fighter community.

In his prime, he was the guy that walked in the room and everyone else knew they were gunning for 2nd place.

I know there are some current fighter pilots on here... God speed to you guys. It takes a special breed of man to be a fighter pilot.
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Mar 2, 2001
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Jul 5, 2022
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