BREAKING | WWII Aviator Breaks Yet Another Record At 95
Some People Are Just Born Of Excellence.
Meet retired Commander Dean “Diz” Laird, a man that likes to do things first and do them well. On July 9th, 2016, this 95 year young aviator broke yet another record by going up in the air. Before we tell you what it was, let’s take a look at some of his life.
Laird spent just shy of 30 years in the Navy flying planes. Becoming an ace during World War II, he also served during the Korean and Vietnam as well. He flew 175 missions which span 12 different carriers. Also, he flew 99 different aircraft during the course of his career. Until now that is.
Here’s a quick list of SOME of his achievements:
- The only person to become an ace by shooting down both German and Japanese planes.
- Flew the Navy’s first jet squadron.
- First to land a jet on USS Midway.
- Has the most arrested landings on a straight deck-carrier.
As you may have guessed, Laird flew his 100th aircraft. Going to the Naval base in Coronado, California, Laird met Lt. Comdr. Nicole Johnson who would go up with him in a T-34C Turbomentor. Having never flown one, this would be a first for Laird.
Dean “Diz” Laird was also a stunt pilot in the movie Tora, Tora, Tora!
In an interview, Laird said he wasn’t doing this for any medal or achievement award. He wanted to do this for himself. When you read his life story, this makes perfect sense. This guy is just a doer, that’s it.
After the interview, he strapped into the T-34C and they took off, enjoying the many beautiful sights San Diego has to offer. During the flight, he did a few aileron rolls for fun before landing.
We salute you and thank you for your service.
Check out the short video. He talks about his WWII dogfights. It’s truly amazing to hear that story.