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A story in the Denver Post came out in 1958 that illustrates self-less love.

June 7, 1958 the Air National Guard’s jet precision team was performing outside of Dayton, Ohio. Five precision flyers made up the Minute Men team. Colonel Walt Williams was the leader of the Denver-based F-86 Sabre-jet team. The planes made a low pass over the crowd and then went straight up into four directions with colorful smoke leaving a trail that formed a large “flower burst” maneuver.

Colonel Williams turned his Sabre jet hard and dropped the nose of his F-86 to pick up speed for a low-altitude crossover maneuver. Then, glancing back over his shoulder, he froze in terror. Far across the sky to the east, Captain John Ferrier’s plan was rolling out of control. He was in trouble. His plane was healing for the small town of Fairborn, Ohio located close to the air show.

Steering his jet in the direction of the crippled plane Colonel Williams radioed his command, “bail out, bail out now Johnny?”

Each time, Williams was answered only by a blip of smoke. John Ferrier couldn’t reach the mike button on the throttle because both hands were tugging on a control stick locked in full-throw right. But the smoke button was on the stick, so he was answering the only way he could – squeezing it to tell Walt that he thought he could keep his plane under enough control to avoid crashing into the houses of Fairborn.

Suddenly an explosion shook the earth. Captain John T Ferrier’s Sabre jet had hit the ground midway between four houses, a backyard garden. It was the only place he cold have crashed without killing people.

Major Win Coomer, a close friend and Minute Man Team member landed his jet and rushed to the crash scene. A neighbor was standing near the crash site said: “A bunch of us were standing together, watching the show, when the pilot started to roll, he was headed straight for us. For a second, we looked right at each other. Then he pulled up right over us and put it in there.” And in deep humility the man whispered, “this man died for us.”

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