A SALUTE TO AN OLD FRIEND

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by FLYBOYJ, Nov 18, 2005.

  1. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    An old friend of mine passed away last week. Dick Lawyer was the former chief pilot at Tracor Flight Systems. A great guy, he was still flying high performance jet warbirds up until his death. Apparently he had a heart attack after returning from a Colorado hunting trip. He just turned 73.

    Dick flew nearly 50 different types of aircraft from small single engine prop planes to supersonic jets. He lived to fly and soared through the air in the Lockheed T-33, F-104 Starfighter, North American T-6 Texan; F-86 Sabre, FJ-4 Fury, F-100 Super Sabre (all models) and T-39 Sabreliner; McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom and F-101 Voodoo; Convair F-102 Delta Dagger and F-106 Delta Dart; Republic F 105 Thunderchief; and the Martin B-57 Canberra.
    He was a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB, the USAF Fighter Weapons Instructors School and was a Fellow in the Society of Experimental Test Pilots.

    He was selected as astronaut December 11, 1965, on the Manned Orbiting Laboratory project, a classified military manned space station. When MOL project was canceled, he was serving as Deputy Commander, Operations, Tactical Air War Center, Eglin AFB, Florida. He was a qualified military pilot; and graduate of Aerospace Research Pilot School.

    I understand he did a few tours in Viet Nam and was shot down on at least 2 occasions. I was also told he was forced to eject on 3 different occasions while working as a test pilot. He was one of the highest time F-4 pilots, I understand he had about 6,000 hours in F-4 alone!!!

    Dick was doing part time work for a flight test company in Mojave up until his death. He was flying an F-100F.

    The photo below was taken by my good friend Alan Redecki during a summer flight test program. That's Dick getting ready to launch during a morning sortie.

    He will be buried at Arlingtion National Cemetary in Wash DC on Jan 5.

    This is my tribute to a good friend and great pilot, may he rest in peace....

    :salute:
     

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  2. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

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    I'm very sorry to hear about the loss of your old friend, Joe. My condolences. What a career he's had, by the look of it. What a life!
    Here's to him. :salute:
     
  3. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Thanks NS - he was one of my "mentor pilots." I was honored just to know him.....
     
  4. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

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    I'll bet you were. Who wouldn't have been?
     
  5. trackend

    trackend Active Member

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    My condolences FBJ its always sad to loose a friend and as he was a mentor I'm sure you have a lot to thank him for. Some how after all the things he's done I bet if you asked him if he would give it up to live a bit longer he would tell you to sod off as he'd loved every minute. Worse part of living is the dieing but you cant have one without the other.
    Happy flying Dick. :salute:
     
  6. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    My Condolences FBJ. It is also said to see a good friend pass away even more so when they are a mentor. :salute:
     
  7. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Thanks guys, I'll post more about him as I get more information
     
  8. Maestro

    Maestro Active Member

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    My condolences, FBJ.

    :salute:
     
  9. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    My thoughts are with you and the others that knew him. He lived doing what he loved and taught others such as yourself. If everyone did the same, whos knows what we could achieve.
     
  10. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    My sympathies, Joe. A sad loss. :salute:
     
  11. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    indeed, atleast you can't say he's wasted his life, my condolences........
     
  12. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Sorry for the loss. I salute him.
     
  13. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    Joe, I know how it feels to lose someone close man, so I feel for u, and for his family.... Too many great men are passing away nowadays...
     
  14. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Thanks folks! I'm going to try to post more about him. He was real humble and didn't post much about his exploits. He was one hell of a pilot. His wife said his greatest fear was not being able to fly as he got older.....
     
  15. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    That is actually one of my greatest fears. Again my sympathies to him and his family as well as you FBJ.
     
  16. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Thanks all ---

    Good-bye old friend!
     

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  17. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Sad to see one of the great go west. Sorry to hear about this one, Joe. It sure sounds like he had an amazing life. :salute: Rest well, Dick.
     
  18. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Thanks Eric - they'll be more on him....
     
  19. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

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    Cheerful looking fella. :)
     
  20. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Yea he was - always had a smile - Walked a bit hunched over - shoot, 4 or 5 ejections?!? We wondered why he wasn't 6" shorter!
     
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