I had an email yesterday from Kathleen Herbert, daughter of Clifford Puckett, ball turret gunner on the James Geary crew of 'Betty Boop/Pistol Packin' Mama. It was with great sadness that I found that Mr. Puckett passed away in 2003, but his daughter told me he got a final flight in a B17. The United States Air Force base at Falcan Field in Mesa, Arizona honored Clifford by letting Kathleen's brother take Clifford's ashes on the B-17 "Sentimental Journey" and spread them across the Superstition Mountains. "That was his last journey on a B-17," writes Kathleeen, "We were so proud of him. He was a great dad! On a clear day, we can see that peak from our homes."
If that doesn't get to you, nothing will. Thanks for the email, Kathleen, and I honor the memory of your dad, Clifford Puckett. I regret I never had a chance to meet him. God bless you.
Clifford is also found on the front cover of my book, as a William Phillips painting of his plane is on the cover.