a blog by Peter Stekel

FINAL FLIGHT is the story of four aviators lost in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks on November 18, 1942


Read more about FINAL FLIGHT here.


March 2013

Readers of Final Flight will remember all my interviews with Eugene Fletcher. It brings me great sadness to report that Fletch went west February 12, 2013 at the age of 91.

Fletch piloted the B-17 for the 8th Air Force, 95th Bomb Group, 412th Squadron from 1943-1944 and completed 35 missions. He once said that his highlight from the war occurred December 27 1944, "The day I flew my final combat mission of world War II. It was the last time I was under enemy fire and the day I sent my entire bomber crew home without a scratch." What a proud accomplishment that was!

Fletch was the author of two memoirs of his war experiences (Mister and The Lucky Bastard Club) and these books were incredibly important resources for my research. This was especially true with Mister, because of the book's rich detail about pilot training.

More importantly was Fletch's willingness to help me via email and phone interviews. He answered all my questions and explained what it was like for a very young man to fly a very big airplane in a horrible time of war. Without Fletch, and his unstinting willingness to help me in any way, Final Flight would have been a much poorer book.

I was finally able to visit Fletch in person at his home in Walla Walla last fall. It was a great privilege. I also met his lovely wife, Sherry - for whom he named his B-17, "Lucky Sherry." Along with my wife, the four of us went out to dinner and then returned to Fletch and Sherry's for a long conversation around the dinning room table. It is an evening that I shall never forget and hold close to my memory and my heart for as long as I live.



HERE is an obituary for Eugene Fletcher, published in the Spokesman-Review on February 15, 2013. HERE is another link to the obituary. HERE or HERE is Fletch's CV, published by the Order of Daedalians.


Fletch and Sherry


Fletch and me


Fletch during pilot training, 1943


So long, Fletch.



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