24 June, 2008

Profile 11 - DREAMGIRL flown by James Brocklehurst

This past year, a man who lived next door to the wartime pilot of DreamGirl, James Brocklehurst, had an aneurysm that laid him up in the hospital for some time.  James was kind enough to take care of the man's home as well as shuttle the man's family to and from the hospital.   The family had no idea of James' combat service - only that this neighbor was unusually compassionate and attentive without asking for anything in return.

However, as time passed, James and one of the family members got to be friends and James casually mentioned he flew Mustangs in WWII.  Blue-nosed Mustangs.  That particular fact stuck and came out in conversation that passed like a virus from mouth to ear...until it landed on me.

Knowing of the family's gratitude to James and of the 352nd's motto of "Second to None," a whole host of historians, veterans and amazing people conspired to present James and his family with prints of the airplane he flew in WWII - as a totem to his service, then and now.  

The picture in the lower right corner of the profile was taken last weekend.  It's James and the framed print of his DreamGirl, sixty four years later - an unexpected and tearful thank you for a man who never stopped serving.