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Posted by gamecocksunlimited on August 1, 2012


(December 1944)


Uncle Bud’s fighting days are over.  After escaping death by bomb and bullet, the truculent little mascot of the famed “Fighting Cock” fighter Squadron, Army Air Forces, came to an inglorious end (presumably beneath the wheels of a truck) somewhere in the Mediterranean theater of war.


The worst of it was that he died with his spurs off.  For Uncle Bud was a fighting cock, and a champ in his line.  He had to be a champ to win the respect of the squadron whose number, for security reasons, is not now permissible to mention.


The first story of his passing, and how the squadron felt about it, reached New York recently in a letter to Milton Caniff, cartoonist of the syndicated comic strip, Terry and the Pirates (a featured character of which is Flip Cork in – in real life, Col. Philip G. Cochran, the former commander of Uncle Bud’s outfit).  The letter came from Lieut. Col. Gil Wymond, the squadron’s current skipper.  It said in part:


“The effect of his death on the men is astounding.  My Executive Officer, Maj. Boyhan, had actually to quell an armed riot that was brewing to get even with a rival squadron for the carelessness of one of their drivers.  It took several days to get them calmed down.”


Uncle Bud joined the Fighting Cock Squadron, 57th Fighter Group, before they went overseas.  His picture came first.  The squadron, training in Groton, Connecticut, decided a gamecock would be the best insignia for the outfit.  So, Caniff made the insigne, a replica of which you may have seen more than once in his strip.


Having gotten the insigne, the squadron set out to get a bird that looked like it.  Someone, appreciative of the outfit’s fighting qualities, presented them with Uncle Bud, just after he won a purse in a secretly staged main.


Uncle Bud and the squadron went to Africa, then Italy.  The boys didn’t take him up during combats with the Germans; no room for a rooster that can’t keep still in a fight.  However, he rode the transports that took the squadron from base to base, which is how he got a taste of enemy fire.


The best of Fulldrop

Limited Edition No. 956


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