Corvallis parade honors nation's oldest living WWII fighter ace


Corvallis parade honors nation's oldest living WWII fighter ace

CORVALLIS, Mont. - Hundreds gathered on Main Street in Corvallis, for one of Montana's biggest Memorial Day parades.

The grand marshal is a milestone. At 97, Frank McCauley is the oldest living World War II flying ace. McCauley is in an elite league of heroes. He's one of 97 surviving flying aces.

"My flying was from above, and with the sun at my back," said the youthful looking McCauley, "flying escort for the B-17s."

He flew missions over France and Germany. He loved flying, and he loved his plane.

"You become one-on-one," said McCauley of his service in his plane, "you were part of it."

This Memorial Day, McCauley remembers the men who didn't come back from those missions.

"Every time a B-17 went down you lost 10 men," said the ace. "It hurt. It hurt."

As scores of people lined the parade route, all veterans and their supporters marched in memory of brothers and sisters lost in all wars and conflicts. But it was a happy day too.

Families gathered with laughing kids who picked up candy thrown from people in the parade.

It was a warm day for a celebration.

McCauley's wife of 40 years is proud of her husband.

"He's amazing in, not only what he has done," said Bobbie Bailey McCauley, "but who looks that good at 97."

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