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Madera’s namesake flew missions in Vietnam skies


For The Madera Tribune

The crew of “The City of Madera,” Lt. Hugh Magee, Lt. Bill Rezek, and aircraft mechanic Airman “Rog” Rogers were based at Lemoore Naval Air Station before they took their plane into battle over Vietnam.

 

Lt. Hugh Magee, fellow pilot Lt. Bill Rezek, and aircraft mechanic Airman “Rog” Rogers were based at Lemoore Naval Air Station when their unit, Attack Squadron 146, better known as the “Blue Diamonds,” was ordered to Southeast Asia in 1965.


Soon after receiving their combat orders, Magee and Rezek found themselves flying their A4C Skyhawk on missions over North Vietnam from the carrier, USS Ranger. In between flights Rogers armed the craft and kept it air-worthy.


The crew had nicknamed their bird the “Busy Bee 610.” Considering the frequency of the missions, this appellation seemed appropriate enough, but something was missing. Like all modern warriors, local connections were important to Magee, Rezek and Rogers. They sought to personalize their aircraft and at the same time remember their neighbors in the Valley.

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