Friday, May 23, 2014

On the cover
Staff Sgt. Eric Hernandez, a 19th Security Forces Squadron military dog handler, demonstrates the capabilities of his K-9 May 13 at Little Rock Air Force Base. Hernandez and his dog were part of the events honoring National Police Week. See below. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Harry Brexel)

Combat Airlifter
of the Week
Staff Sgt. Michael Lilly, a 50th Airlift Squadron instructor flight engineer, checks a dry bay for liquids and debris during a preflight inspection May 19 at Little Rock Air Force Base. Lilly was a distinguished graduate from the Flight Engineer Instructor School and completed the course with an overall average of 100 percent. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Scott Poe)








Team Little Rock honors community veterans

A spry, 94 years young, retired Col. David E. Fitton Jr. remembers the thrill of flying from 30 years of service like it wasyesterday. A veteran of three wars, Fitton embodies the spirit andswagger of fighter pilot history. Fitton attended the U.S Military Academy at West Point during World War II. His classes were accelerated to graduate in three years instead of four. Fitton earned his Army Air Corp wings and his second lieutenant bars June 6, 1944, D-Day. After pilot training he shipped out tothe Pacific theater. Fitton arrived in Iwo Jima in August 1945 and was assigned to the 20th Air Force, 414th Fighter Group, 437th Squadron. He flew one of the longest fighter missions of the war, flying from Iwo Jima to Japan and back, flying 8 hours and 5 minutes. After the war Fitton was transferred to Clark Field, Philippines. The 414th Fighter Group was merged with the 18th Fighter Group at Clark Field and he started flying the P-51 aircraft. Fitton flew fighter missions with the Fourth Fighter Group inTeagu, Korea. He flew 76 missions in the F-86A. He served as the director of personnel in Vietnam. His distinguished accomplishments include the Air Medal with two oak clusters and the Legion of Merit. Fitton received his second Legion of Merit award Feb. 1, 1974, the same day that he retired.

Col. (Ret.) Harry Canham began his military career as a glider pilot in 1942 as a part of the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. After only a few missions he was assinged a new aircraft, the Martin B-26 Marauder stationed in North African. After the war, Canham and started training on a new aircraft, the AC-130 Gunship. Canham was presented with the Distinguished Flying Cross Jan. 16, 1972. On that date, while on a night reconnaissance mission his actions led to the damage and destruction of 12 hostile supply vehicles and the ignition of numerous secondary fires and explosions. Putting aside his concern for personal safety in the face of 22 rounds of hostile anti-aircraft fire, he succeeded in destroying large amounts of supplies and munitions destined for use against friendly forces.



Chief Warrant Officer 2 (Ret.) John Heffernan joined the Army in 1962. He attended Fort Gordon, Ga., to hone his skills in communications. He worked for the communications center at Fort Richardson, Alaska, for three years. During that time, he participated in the Cuban Missile Crisis where he set up communications for six months. He said one of his fondest memories in the military was talking to President Lyndon B. Johnson on the phone when he helped set up communications for the Red Cross during The Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964. That earthquake was the second largest earthquake in the world and the most powerful recorded in U.S. history. He left active duty in 1965 and joined the Army National Guard. There he served his country for 27 more years. Now, he volunteers at Little Rock Air Force Base, as the director of the Retiree Activities Office. He has been in his current position for 16 years and said he doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.



Home     Contacts     The Leader    LRAFB Phone Numbers    Site Meter