Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Richard Waring was a B-17 navigator who flew more than 35 successful bombing missions over Germany in World War II. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in February 1943, at the age of 20. After attending pre-flight, gunner and navigator school, Waring commissioned in 1944 as an aerial navigator. He served under the 487th Combat Group with the 8th Air Force in Lavenham, England. He logged more than 395 flight hours primarily in the B-17. Waring said his most memorable moment was his final operational mission in Lavenham, called the, “Chow How Mission,” where he scouted out locations for a food drop in Holland. “We saw the target. It was a clear, beautiful day in May. There were tulip fields in Holland at the time in bloom. And, it was magnificent to view all these tulips. As far as you could see – tulips.” While flying over one of the cities, they saw, “Thanks yanks,” spelled out on top of the rooftops of a row of houses. “That moved us – that they took the time to say thanks. I’ll always remember that.”
Waring served on active duty until 1969 when he went on retired reserve status.