A pair of F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jets from the South Carolina Air National Guard's 169th Fighter Wing at McEntire Joint National Guard Base provided military flyover honors for Vietnam War hero retired Col. Norman P. Huggins, USAF, at the Red Hill Cemetery in Mullins on March 3.
On Oct. 31, 1965 (his wedding anniversary), Capt. Huggins was one of the first 10 fighter pilots shot down over North Vietnam and the first to make it back without being captured. He was part of what is known as a "VooDoo 101 er Tactical Reconnaissance Pilot" flying the RF-101C for low-level Tactical Recon. The tag line for these VooDoo 101 er's has become "Alone, Unarmed and Unafraid." He was successfully rescued after a three-hour engagement with the Viet Cong in the waters offshore for which he was awarded the Silver Star and the Purple Heart.
U.S. Air Force Capt. "Mosey" Rosecrans and Capt. "Gnarly" Price performed the aerial salute on behalf of a grateful nation for the sacrifices made by the service of Huggins and his family.
"Col. Huggins was an American hero who served our country well. He represents a long lineage of great American fighter pilots whose legacy we seek to uphold," Price said. "It is a privilege to honor his life, service and family with a flyover today."
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