The Cross and the Fighter Pilot

At Osan Air Base, Korea, SSgt Mario Tomasello stands in front of the 36th Fighter Squadron “Flying Fiends” patch board, where fighter pilots leave their nametags as they move on to other assignments.

In the background, note a nametag is inverted: 

This is a fighter pilot tradition.  The inverted wings on these boards belong to the alumni of the unit who have died.  The bond is strong: This particular fighter pilot was killed several years after he left the 36FS, but he was commemorated by those there nonetheless.

There’s another couple of somewhat unusual nametags in the background:

Don’t see that everyday, do you?

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