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Mees flies high on 90th birthday


Last updated 4/3/2008 at Noon

Clyde Mees sits in the cockpit of the biplane that was part of his birthday treat.

FALLBROOK — Retired US Navy Commander Clyde Mees of Fallbrook took to the air in celebration of his 90th birthday, which was March 10.

Mees’ son and daughter, Tom Mees of San Luis Obispo and Carole Mees of Fallbrook, took him to Fallbrook Airpark, where a World War II vintage biplane was waiting. Mees had trained in that type of aircraft during the war.

When the plane’s owner asked Mees if he would like a ride in the aircraft, Mees replied, “I want to fly it!” – and fly it he did.

After his celebratory flight, Mees was honored at a dinner party, hosted by his children, at Pala Mesa Resort on March 22. Approximately 80 friends and family members enjoyed an evening of videos and music from the early years of Mees’ life, a journey through his service as a naval aviator and subsequent employment as an engineer with Northrop Aviation, Aerophysics and Hughes Aircraft. He retired in Fallbrook in 1982.

Mees is briefed just prior to the flight.

Mees was born in Fort Thomas, KY, in 1918 and attended college at Notre Dame and Southern Cal before joining the Navy in 1940. During the war, he commanded seaplanes, transporting the wounded in the Pacific Theatre, and was in charge of flight training.

Mees was presented with a rare Recognition of Exceptional Military Flying Certificate, approved by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1924 and the Distinguished Flying Cross Society of America, for his instructor pilot flying during World War II.

The certificate was presented by retired USF Colonel Bob Krone on behalf of Clyde’s Yucatan Way neighbors, Helen Houle, Glenn and Midge Carroll, Ben and Grace Befu and Bob and Sue Krone.


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