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Dick Uyehara

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First Lieutenant (Ret.) Dick Uyehara is a five year Air Force veteran who served at Pusan Air Base during the Korean War. He was a navigator in the A-26 bomber. Uyehara remembers flying on moonlit nights deep into North Korea at 300 to 500 feet off the treetops. “It was so low anti-aircraft fire came down from ridgelines," said Uyehara. He recalled how trains would run for cover in tunnels. "We'd fly fast and low, straight toward a train tunnel. The trick was to skip 500-pound bombs into the openings without us slamming into the mountain," said Uyehara. In 1955, he was forced to eject from a B-57 Canberra bomber aircraft at 600 miles per hour over Washington D.C.—ending his plans and taking both his legs. He had to struggle free from a malfunctioning ejection seat only to have the stabilizer hit him during the bailout. It severed one leg and mangled the other. Teri, his wife said, “He never let it beat him,” although he was in great pain. After his release, he never used a wheelchair, preferring to walk -- unaided -- on prosthetic legs, Teri said.

Uyehara is currently a dental technician for Hollywood celebrities. He retired in Grand Junction, Colorado.