2009-01-12

Bob Leavell's Flying Jacket

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Like my dad and most of the folks I've met who served in the Second World War, Bob Leavell rarely spoke of it. I can't recall his having mentioned it when he was my teacher and then my colleague on the UGA law faculty. I learned only at his funeral, during Milner Ball's eulogy, that Bob served with the 23rd Fighter Group. In the spring of 1942, soon after the United States entered the war, the 23rd Fighter Group went to China, inheriting the mission and the name of the Flying Tigers, the American Volunteer Group that had flown for the Chinese Air Force before the United States officially could lend a hand. Yesterday, as some friends and I toured the Museum of Aviation at Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins, Georgia, I spotted Bob's flying jacket on display along with a number of others in the Flying Tigers exhibit.

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