Shooting Star

In your genealogy research, do you ever encounter a brief newspapers article that makes you want to learn more about an historic event mentioned in the article? That was the case when I found a 1946 article for a Ricketts cousin, Wayne Bond, who served in the U.S. Air Force during WWII and the Korean War.

First Sergt. Wayne Bond, son of Mr. And Mrs. V. E. Bond of Tucson, Ariz., formerly of Frankfort, is piloting one of the 25 P-80 Shooting Star jet fighter planes which are making a cross-country flight. The planes left March field, Cal., Wednesday

“Local News,” Journal and Courier (Lafayette, Indiana), 17 May 1946, page 6; digital images, ( : viewed online 21 December 2021).

Curious about this event, I searched newspapers for articles about the ‘Shooting Star’ in 1946 and found an article in the Fort Worth Star Telegram.

25 Shooting Star, Jet Planes Will Land Here Today

Twenty-five P-80 Shooting Stars, Army jet-propelled fighter planes will circle in formation over downtown Fort Worth about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday before landing at Fort Worth Army Air Field for an overnight stop.
On the first mass flight of P-80s in this country, the planes will be en route from March Field, Cal., to Washington, D.C. in a long range cross-country test. They will be on exhibition for the public after landing here. Accompanying the fighters will be six C-82 packets in a practical experiment in transporting maintenance personnel and equipment in support of the fast jet planes.

“25 Shooting Star, Jet Planes Will Land Here Today,” Fort Worth Star Telegram (Fort Worth, Texas). 14 May 1946, page 8.

According to Wikipedia, the P-80 Shooting Star was the first jet fighter used by the United States Air Force. For more information about the Shooting Star, check out these sites.