This is a picture of me with a member of the "greatest generation". His name was Rufus Newton Wilson, and he was born in November of 1921. He died February 17, 1945, he was, like so many, taken away from us in the prime of his young years.
It looks like he is in the U.S. Army's Aviation Cadet program when this picture was taken. I suspect that it was in El Monte California, probably in 1943 or 1944 (do I look to be about five or six?). El Monte is outside of Los Angeles, east, on the way to San Bernardino. There was a pilot training base at March Air Field during the second World War. You'll note the military attire for both of us in one picture and the natty white shirt and blue short-pant suit in the second. I have often wondered about the prophetic nature of this picture. Me in military attire, idolizing my cousin, never imagining what he'd go through in a few short years. I have waited too long to do this research. It is late in the day right now and I'll have to continue tomorrow. Needless to say, his life was ended in Europe, when his aircraft was shot down by hostile fire. I don't know where for sure. I'm not sure what kind of aircraft it was. More later about Rufus - my hero.