When a group of Marines landed at the Port Everglades Fleet Week celebrations, a local sheriff asked for their help. A local veteran was flying an American flag that needed to be officially retired. So the Marines took a flag from the USS New York and went out to his house to change out the flags.
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Captain Robert Woodbury was surprised by their arrival. He has retired to Fort Lauderdale, Fla, and lives in a modest house with a modest flag pole out front.
Robert Woodbury is a living legend. He joined the Marines at age 18 in 1942. He was a stellar pilot, and his expertise was put to use at training facilities in both Florida and California.
Nearing the end of the war, he was transferred to a fighter squadron and learned the ropes of the F4 Corsair. He was slated to be in the first fighter wing to fly over Japan’s mainland, but the war ended.
Though Capt. Woodbury returned to civilian life, he would get the chance to fly again. In Korea he flew F9F Panther Jets. He flew with the VMF-115 Squadron in Marine Air Group 33 of the First Marine Air Wing along side Ted Williams, John Glenn, and Major Jack Bolt (an Ace in both WWII and Korea).
Capt. Woodbury flew more than 100 combat missions in Korea.
Capt. Woodbury, now 93, is still remarkably sharp. The surprise of the Marines showing up seemed to move him deeply.
“I’m really red white and blue. I’m so pro-American,” he said. “I’m a Marine… Ooo-Rah.”