Sly was my new flight commander and as a 2nd Lieutenant, your flight commanders were your role models. Sly was on loan from the United States Marine Corps assigned to the 58th TFS as our Marine Exchange Pilot. The Marine Exchange Pilot Program dates back to the Korean War, and the 58th has hosted the Marine Exchange Pilot ever since.
Well, that quick history leads me to another historic moment for Chuck. This week, the Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation celebrated “100 Years of Marine Corps Aviation” in San Diego. In first-class Marine fashion, the foundation honored a hero from each war/conflict starting with World War II and on through Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, and finally, the current War on Terror. The designation of “hero” is held in the highest esteem, and our own Chuck Magill has been selected as the Desert Storm hero-representative for being a Marine/Air Force F-15 exchange Mission Commander during the war (a HUGE responsibility in itself). In fact, one of the missions ended in Chuck shooting down an MiG-29 (the most advanced Soviet-made fighter at that time) while leading the Air Force’s First Daylight Mission of the War.
Chuck (middle) and other Honorees
That day, Captain Magill and Captain Rhory Draeger, Zerex 73, were both credited with two aerial victories. The 58th TFS would go on to claim 16 aerial victories during Operation Desert Storm and we have four of those Pilots among us here at Southwest (Captain Rob “Cheese” Graeter, First Officer Craig “Mole” Underhill, First Officer Larry “Cherry” Pitts, and First Officer Tony “ET” Murphy). Another amazing miracle to the story is while all of this was happening, Chuck’s daughter, was being welcomed into the world.
Chuck meets his daughter for the first time