Get ready for Air Fiesta ‘08
By Maj. Brannen Cohee, 315th Training Squadron
/ Published March 07, 2008
GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
Air Fiesta '08 is just a week away! All our preparation is about to pay off in what will be an incredible display of "Airpower over West Texas." Take another look at the Air Fiesta schedule at http://goodfellow.schultzairshows.com/. We've added several exciting demonstrations you won't want to miss. Remember, there are still volunteer opportunities available. Contact Tech. Sgt. Frank Carreras at 654-5243.
As Goodfellow gets ready for the big day, perhaps a word about our Open House venue might be helpful. Typically an Air Force base will host its Open House on the Air Force base itself! Of course, lacking an active runway, Goodfellow is a bit different. However, it's quite fitting that we host Air Fiesta '08 at the San Angelo Regional Airport. Because Mathis Field reminds us of two lieutenants--literally, two brothers-in-arms--whose courageous sacrifice epitomizes our Airman's Creed.
Mark and Jack Mathis were born in San Angelo and grew up in Sterling City, Texas. They joined the Army Air Corps and received their training at Goodfellow. In March 1943, Jack served as the lead bombardier for his B-17 squadron in a massive attack on a German submarine yard. Despite sustaining mortal wounds, Jack led his fellow bombadiers in a perfect strike. His last word was, "Bombs..." For his tenacious devotion to duty and conspicuous gallantry, Jack was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
"I defend my Country with my Life."
Mark--who had just arrived for a visit--received his brother's body on the flight line when the B-17s returned. Undaunted, Mark joined Jack's unit to carry on his brother's legacy of valor. A few weeks later, Mark was killed by enemy fighters over the North Sea. Mark's nose gun was still blazing as his B-17 plunged into the icy waters.
"I will never leave an Airman behind, I will never falter, and I will not fail."
Because of the courage and devotion of Mark and Jack Mathis--and so many thousands who walked in their footsteps--we can enjoy Air Fiesta '08 with our West Texas friends. So, please join your Goodfellow family at Mathis Field on March 15th. Invite your Concho Valley neighbors. Let's show them the spirit of Jack and Mark Mathis lives in the heart of every Airman. Let's show them why America's Air Force continues to soar "Above All!"