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The last of the legendary Flying Tigers of World War II has died
A Columbus man who was considered the last of the surviving Flying Tigers from World War II has died.
Frank Losonsky, 99, died Thursday at home from natural causes, his son Chris told the Ledger-Enquirer in a phone interview Monday. No funeral service is planned, he said.
According to a 2019 article on the Voice of America website, Losonsky was the last survivor of the Flying Tigers.
That's the nickname of the legendary World War II unit officially called the American Volunteer Group.
They were 311 U.S. military service members recruited to help the Chinese Air Force fend off the Japanese invasion in mid-1941, according to WarBirdNews.com. Losonsky became a crew chief and sergeant with the 3rd Squadron, nicknamed the Hell's Angels.
After the United States joined the war in December 1941, the AVG disbanded and became part of the U.S. Air Force 23rd Fighter Group in July 1942..
"It wasn't easy for Frank, who had to wend his way around the world, via South Africa, before he eventually found himself back in the States," WarBirdNews.com reported. "He got married in the interim, and then returned to China as a mechanic with China National Aviation Corporation, a quasi-civilian airline which took part in the massive logistics operation flying supplies between India and China over the Himalayan Mountains during the period when Japanese forces had cut off the normal land route via the Burma Road. After the war he joined TransAsiatic Airlines in Burma, eventually becoming a pilot himself."
Losonsky's military memoir, Flying Tiger: A Crew Chief's Story, written with his son Terry, was published in 2004.
In 2012, Losonsky was among the surviving Flying Tigers honored at the National Infantry Museum & Soldier Center in Columbus.
"He was kind of a hero," said Chris, president of Part IV Inc., the restaurant group that owns the Speakeasy in Columbus. "We went to many, many of the reunions these individuals had over the years. It was always exciting being among those gentlemen. I kind of grew up with it, but everybody acknowledged him for his duty and his service."
And it never got old for him.
"When he got around Flying Tigers stuff," Chris said, "he lit up."
©2020 the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (Columbus, Ga.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Some Fort Bragg paratroopers who left for the Middle East on a no-notice deployment last month came home Thursday.
About 3,500 soldiers with the 82nd Airborne Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team were sent to Kuwait beginning Jan. 1 as tensions were rising in the region. The first soldiers were in the air within 18 hours of being told to go.
KABUL/WASHINGTON/PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - The United States and the Taliban will sign an agreement on Feb. 29 at the end of a week long period of violence reduction in Afghanistan, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Taliban said on Friday.
Large cargo ships, small fishing boats and other watercraft sail safely past Naval Station Norfolk every day, but there's always a possibility that terrorists could use any one of them to attack the world's largest naval base.
While Navy security keeps a close eye on every vessel that passes, there's an inherent risk for the sailors aboard small patrol boats who are tasked with helping keep aircraft carriers, submarines and destroyers on base safe from waterborne attacks.
So the Navy experimented Wednesday to test whether an unmanned vessel could stop a small boat threatening the base from the Elizabeth River.
Nancy Turner's modern version of keeping a candle in the window while her soldier son is away is a string of electric lights on the front porch that burn red, white and blue.
But where Turner sees patriotism and support for the troops, her Garner homeowners association sees a covenant violation and a potential $50-per-day fine.
Turner was surprised to receive a threatening email last week after an employee from Sentry Management, which manages the Sheldon Place HOA, spotted the illegal illumination during a neighborhood patrol.
"I honestly had no idea it would be a problem," Turner said.
The HOA did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent as a message through its Facebook page.
In the wee hours of Jan. 8, Tehran retaliated over the U.S. killing of Iran's most powerful general by bombarding the al-Asad air base in Iraq.
Among the 2,000 troops stationed there was U.S. Army Specialist Kimo Keltz, who recalls hearing a missile whistling through the sky as he lay on the deck of a guard tower. The explosion lifted his body - in full armor - an inch or two off the floor.
Keltz says he thought he had escaped with little more than a mild headache. Initial assessments around the base found no serious injuries or deaths from the attack. U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted, "All is well!"
The next day was different.
"My head kinda felt like I got hit with a truck," Keltz told Reuters in an interview from al-Asad air base in Iraq's western Anbar desert. "My stomach was grinding."