My father, Col Richard L Alley, passed away eight years ago today, at the age of 88. I clearly recall the one thing he said about his own father, who passed away in the front yard at the age of 80: “I just want to live longer than he did.”
And so it was.
My mother and father met in Sacramento when Dad was training at Mather Air Field. He ended up flying missions for the 8th AF in B-17s, made his missions in one piece and returned to the states, where he became an instructor in B-25s.
Here Dad is being trained to fly.
Dad’s father, Verto, served in World War I.
Verto and Kathleen married soon after. This photo got Verto through WW I.
My father, left, with his brother Jim in Kansas City, Missouri, 1925. All three brothers served in World War II. Dad chose the Air Force, Uncle Jim served in the army and Uncle Bill in the navy.
I miss my father every day and honor his service. Col Richard L. Alley, USAF, 1920 to 2009, WWII and Vietnam.
The same folded flag above is in a polished cherry walnut case no more than four feet from me as I write, with three of the brass casings fired at his salute.