Alex Vraciu, RIP
January 29, 2015 in News
Alex Vraciu departed the ship earlier today, at age 96. He was the ranking surviving American Ace of World War II at the time of his death. I had the good fortune of meeting Alex a few times at AFAA events. I would have to rank him as one of the nicest guys I ever met, but under that nice there was steel. He was a tiger. There are now 84 American aces of World War II living, including now 23 Navy aces.
Interestingly enough, a few minutes after the famous picture was taken of Alex holding up six fingers for his score on June 19, 1944 – at the time for about an hour (until Dave McCampbell shot down 7), it was the American record – he learned that his wings had not been down and locked through the entire fight. Tough pilot in a tough airplane.