Four Boeing F/A-18 Hornet jets streaked high over Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Friday afternoon in a missing man formation. When Number 222 peeled away from the others and landed, it was obvious that the latest aircraft added to Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron (VMFAT) 101 was something special.
The jet parked near a red carpet rolled onto the flight line. Then Gen. James Amos, the 65-year-old commandant of the Marine Corps, climbed out of the backseat of the cockpit. It was the first time Amos, a fighter pilot by training, had flown a Hornet this year, aides said.
Instead of the normal flat gray, the B model F/A-18 had been painted a glossy white with green trim. The Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest award for valor in combat, adorned the speedbrake between the tails. The names of the four most recent Navy Department recipients, two Marines and two Sailors, flanked the cockpit. Their citations were inscribed near the engine intakes.
For the complete story by the UT San Diego’s Gretel C. Kovach, click here.