Flyover honors late Ensign Mack Dean
Mar 27, 2011 | 3066 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Courtesy Photo / Steve Dean<br>
GILMERITE MACK DEAN, right, visits with his brother Steve Dean. John Mack Dean was killed on March 26, 1969, when the T-2 “Buckeye” trainer he was flying crashed. It was days before his 23rd birthday. In his honor, the Flight of the Phoenix Escadrille will provide a ceremonial flyover at Saturday’s Medal of Honor program at the Gladewater airport.
Courtesy Photo / Steve Dean
GILMERITE MACK DEAN, right, visits with his brother Steve Dean. John Mack Dean was killed on March 26, 1969, when the T-2 “Buckeye” trainer he was flying crashed. It was days before his 23rd birthday. In his honor, the Flight of the Phoenix Escadrille will provide a ceremonial flyover at Saturday’s Medal of Honor program at the Gladewater airport.
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This Saturday (March 26) Gilmer’s Flight of the Phoenix Aviation Museum vintage military formation team, Flight of the Phoenix Escadrille, http://flightofthephoenix.org/docs/fotpam_EscadrilleFlyer.pdf, will provide the ceremonial flyover at a Medal of Honor program in Gladewater. Escadrille pilots are Steve Dean of Gilmer and Carl Best of Plano.

Two combat veteran pilots from the Korean War and the Vietnam War will fly as co-pilots this Saturday with the Escadrille.

Korean War veteran Bill Pate of Gilmer was a U.S. Navy ensign flying combat missions over North and South Korea in the Navy’s AD Skyraiders from the aircraft carrier Boxer and later the Bon Homme Richard.

Col. John Dalton, USAF retired, now residing in Longview, was a B-52 aircraft commander in 361 airstrike missions over South and North Vietnam. Both of these men are combat-decorated war veterans and they are proud to be participate in the Medal of Honor Ceremony, Steve Dean said.

Steve Dean, leader of the Escadrille is Captain, USAF retired, brother of Ensign John Mack Dean. Both brothers served as a military pilots in the Vietnam era and were in service at the same time.

Saturday is a special day for the Escadrille because it marks the 42nd anniversary of the death of Gilmer Navy veteran Ensign Mack Dean.

Dean, a naval aviator in training for jet fighter pilot duties as a carrier pilot during the Vietnam era, perished in his North American T-2 “Buckeye” trainer on March 26,1969 in a training accident near Philadelphia, Miss.

Ensign Mack Dean would have been 23 years old on April 3, 1969. The museum honors and shows appreciation to Ensign Mack Dean and to the families of all the other young men and women from the local area who served our country in uniform.

At the time of his death, Dean was married to Ann Calk of Longview and they were living in Meridian, Miss.

In his honor, Mack’s mother, Jane Dean, was honored as “Gold Star Mother” for Upshur County on Memorial Day, 1997.
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