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Influential Double-Ace Fighter Pilot Dies at 88

Influential Double-Ace Fighter Pilot Dies at 88

Ralph Sherman Parr Jr., one of the most decorated military pilots in U.S. history, died Friday, joining the ranks of other legendary aviators who shaped today’s Air Force. Parr, a double ace in the Korean War, had undergone treatment for cancer in recent weeks at an assisted living facility in New Braunfels, Texas, where he died at 88.

Parr was among the last survivors of an era of gutsy, instinctive flying before remotely piloted aircraft and technology changed the way wars are fought in the air.

Bob Laymon, a friend and military historian, said Parr “inspired and motivated combat aviators and future Air Force leaders,” sharing his knowledge of flight theory and thermodynamics at speaking engagements and Friday night gatherings at the Randolph AFB officers’ club.

For the complete story by Scott Huddleston of the San Antonio Express-News, click here.

Updated: December 9, 2012 — 8:17 PM

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  1. I had the pleasure of seeing Col. Parr at the F-86 Sabre Pilots Association reunion in 2001. He, like the rest of the pilots there, were a special breed, the likes of which we’ll never see again. His aerial achievements in three wars speak for themselves. Although he is gone, his spirit lives on in those he mentored.

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