I talked on the phone with an old buddy of mine in Jenkins recently, Wayne Collins. The short time I went to Jenkins High School before I joined the Army Air Corps, we played sports together.
He later married one of our basketball cheerleaders, Joyce Dingus, Albert Dingus’s daughter. I grew up with this family from Burdine.
Wayne’s best friend, Joe Bukovich, served during World War II in the same unit that I later served with for 13 years. Joe was assigned to Australia, flying our Air Transport aircrafts. They dropped supplies to our fighting men in that part of the world.
They did not have pinpoint drops while being shot at, and some supplies dropped into Japanese hands.
I did not know Joe and when Wayne told him I was in his old outfit for 13 years, he asked Wayne to have me call him. I tried to call him a couple of times, but his hearing aid wasn’t working and he could not hear me.
It was my loss, not being able to talk to my hero who flew in the unit I served stateside and overseas all those years.
(Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in Fairfield, Calif.)