I'm not sure exactly where the accident occurred but Wayne
was killed by a train. At the time he lived in Williston, Fl. Before
moving from Miami he had a successful Chevron service station business on
Colonial Drive and US 1. He was married and had 2 children. After he
moved we were out of touch with each other but during a telephone
conversation he told me he was teaching auto mechanics at the high school.
I can't recall if it was for high school students or an adult education class.
After high school Wayne served in the Coast Guard aboard a weather patrol
cutter. He was stationed in New York.
After we both completed our military service Wayne decided to take flying
lessons. One of the requirements for his commercial license was to complete
a cross country flight. A stipulation was that he was to do this alone, but
being good DED brothers we decided this rule didn't apply to him so I went
along as his 2nd in command. The flight plan was to fly from Brown's
airport to my home town, Evergreen, ALA. When we got in the panhandle of
North Fla. we needed to refuel. We checked the chart and determined that we
were near Dothan AL. and seeing an airport we knew this had to be Dothan.
On our approach to the runway we noticed a long line of aircraft that
appeared to be military trainers. Just as we landed and slowed a bit we saw
a jeep with a "FOLLOW ME" sign on the back. When we stopped and before we
could exit our tri-pacer an army MP, equipped with side arms, approached us
and started asking questions like "do you know where you are and why are you here?
We were escorted to a small building near the control tower and
questioned by an army officer. He told us we had landed at Fort Rucker
which was then an army pilot training base. It later became the major army
helicopter training center. The incursion of the Cessna plane into
restricted airspace in Washington DC reminded me again of this story. We
didn't get a fighter escort but in the 1950's military bases, due to the
"Cold War", were closely guarded. After our interrogation the officer in
charge pointed to Dothan airport and told us to contact the control tower
and leave. We did.
Wayne got his license but did not pursue a career in flying.
Submitted by Jack Skipper