It really pains us to see such an American hero, and overall good guy leave us. He, and men like him made our nation stronger.
Frederick R. “Fritz” Payne has passed away. He was believed by many to be the oldest surviving U.S. fighter ace. He died on August 6th and was a World War II fighter ace. He shot down six Japanese warplanes in the Battle of Guadalcanal. The Battle of Guadalcanal was made famous in popular culture by the hit series, The Pacific.
Fritz, in 1942, flew a F4F Wildcat and shot down four Japanese bombers and two fighter planes in an ever important battle for control of the Pacific. The battle was months long.
He was a very humble man say those close to him.
From Navy Times
The retired Marine Corps brigadier general, who was believed to be the oldest surviving U.S. fighter ace, died on Aug. 6 at his home in Rancho Mirage.
Hundreds had turned out to honor him last Memorial Day at the Palm Springs Air Museum, which on Tuesday confirmed his death.
“He was an extraordinary guy, and we can only hope that we can live up to his and others’ example and carry on in their footsteps and remember what they did,” said the museum’s director, Fred Bell.
What Payne did between September and October 1942 was take to the skies in an F4F Wildcat and shoot down four Japanese bombers and two fighter planes during a crucial, months-long battle for control of the Pacific that Allied forces had launched with no clear indication they could win.