Gene Parrott flew 104 combat missions in the Korean War
Mr. Eugene H. Parrott Senior was born in Soddy, Tennessee on June 19th, 1928, but he told me nobody calls him Eugene.
Growing up in Soddy Mr. Parrott had a nickname based on a character in a comic strip. It literally started the moment he was born
"When the doctor came and delivered me at our house, and held me up and saw that I was a boy he said well good. Here's another Corky," Mr. Parrott said.
Mr. Parrott told me in his living room on Signal Mountain these days most people call him Gene, but growing up In Soddy everybody called him Corky. In the Air Force everybody called him Soddy.
In October of 1948 he joined the US Air Force Aviation Cadet program.
He trained to fly the F-80. Less than two years later he was flying missions in the Korean War. From summer of 1950 to the Spring of 1951 he flew 104 combat missions.
"Well, I never gave it that much thought I don't think because I was just a young 22 year old at the time," Mr. Parrott said.
After he finished his 104th mission the Air Force decided anyone who flew 100 missions would be allowed to leave Korea.
Mr. Parrott spent eight years active duty in the AirForce. and then twelve more years in the Air National Guard.
He loved flying so he continued to work in aviation. He worked for Boeing for a couple of years in Seattle, and then flew for a charter airline in California for many more years.
"I ended up with a total of 18,000 hours of flight time," Mr. Parrott said.
Mr. Parrott retired from flying in 1988, and more than forty years after leaving the state he came back home to Tennessee. Last week he was honored as a marshal at the Chattanooga Armed Forces Day Parade.