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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.…/might-famous-navy-ace/…

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10 responses to Alex Vraciu, RIP

  1. I’ve seen his interview on The Military Channel (now American Heroes Channel) several times – I’m addicted to the “Dogfights” series. 🙂

    By the way, the link states “…page not found…” – 🙁

  2. Tom, tried the link but got a ‘404 Error’. Perhaps you could have another look.

  3. RIP. To an extraordinary gent.

  4. R.I.P.
    In memory of him this year, build a 1/48 Eduard Hellcat ..

  5. Blue skies, Alex.

    (I have added the said photo from Wikipedia, hope OK)

  6. RIP to one of my favouriteUS Navy aces. You need to be a Steel Tiger to be a naval aviator. To me he was the epitome of a Naval aviator. Thanks Tom for informing us of his passing.

  7. Thanks, TC, for the update. Is that Vraciu’s Hellcat in the background?


  8. A true American hero and a legend. RIP.

  9. May his memory live for a hundred years! Rest now in peace Mr, Vraciu.

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