After UPT, I spent four more years in Columbus as a T-38 instructor. I don’t remember another class being profiled in the local newspaper (outside of the Police Blotter section). When I turned 50, my mom sent me a time-capsule full of pictures, keepsakes, memorabilia, and newspaper clippings. This long-forgotten story and the associated pictures from the Columbus Commercial Dispatch were among the treasures in that time-capsule.

I had saved a copy of the base newspaper, Silver Wings, with our graduation mug shots. I’m glad to be able to digitize the pictures to preserve them here, because my original paper is about to fall apart.

This story was originally printed in the local Columbus newspaper on November 1, 1987.
The day that our class started to fly our first solo jet rides in the T-37, the local newspaper came to the base to take pictures and write a story about our class. Here, the Warhawks are shown dunking their Section Leader after his first solo.
These are my fellow 88-07 FAIPs.
When a student soloed in the T-37, Captain Wright would call him or her to the front of the room at the end of the day to present an official Dagger solo certificate.
This is what the Dagger flight room looked like for the formal report and formal release. You can see a couple of decorated IP desktops on the left. At the front of the room, Captain Wright would stick a pink flamingo next to his podium whenever he wanted to motivate the troops. That’s me on the right, and even though the picture is not the best, you can clearly see why Three-Fingered Wayne could not cut me a flat-top.