Our member, RedBeard has passed away

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Generalfeldmarschall zur Luftschiff Abteilung
I have just learned that on New Year's Eve, RedBeard (Ryan) passed away after a long battle with medical problems. He was only 46 years old.

He enjoyed the forum, but wasn't able to participate much in the past several years. Although he would check up on us as a guest when he was able.

His passion was the warbirds of WWII although the P-51D was his alltime favorite and we'd spend a great deal of time discussing WWII aviation at work, since he and I worked together for many years before his condition forced him into retirement several years ago. He also enjoyed WWII combat sims like Jane's WWII fighters and IL-2 (as many may recall from the IL-2 Sturmovik section of the forum)

He's seen here in front of an A-10 at the 2009 Redding Airshow...the A-10 was his favorite modern bird and in his own words: "this here is a big can-O-whoopass waiting to be opened..."

Here's a good photo of him seen with another forum member, Lawndart (standing on the left)

He will be missed.
"Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air....

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace.
Where never lark, or even eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
- Put out my hand, and touched the face of God."
One More Roll

We toast our hearty comrades who have fallen from the skies,
and were gently caught by God's own hand to be with him on High.

To dwell among the soaring clouds they've known so well before.
From victory roll to tail chase, at heaven's very door.

As we fly among them there, we're sure to head their plea.
To take care my friend, watch your six, and do one more roll for me.

— Commander Jerry Coffee, Hanoi, 1968

Very sad news! :( My condolences to his family...
Too young to go. How sad his family would be...
Rest in Peace, Ryan :(

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