Honoring WW II Gunners

The 325th Fighter Wing at Tyndall AFB, Fla., on April 10 formally dedicated a monument to the 67,000 airmen who trained in aerial gunnery during World War II at the base’s former Army Air Forces Flexible Gunnery School. “Many of these American heroes made the ultimate sacrifice and never returned home from the war,” said Brig. Gen. Darryl Roberson, the wing’s commander, during the ceremony, which took place at the base’s Maxwell Flag Park. The monument features a bronze plaque emblazoned with the history of the aerial gunnery training, attached to a 4-foot-tall granite block. It was the vision of Paul Airey, the first Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, who died last month. Airey was a graduate of the school and served as a B-24 gunner during the war. “It’s a long overdue recognition for the sacrifice made by these American patriots, and with the chief’s recent passing, the dedication of this historical marker is even more poignant,” said SMSgt. Lawrence Greebon, director of Tyndall’s NCO Academy and monument project officer. Among the event attendees were members of Airey’s family. (Tyndall release)