Major Harry Evans Republic F-84 Pilot, Skyblazers USAF Display Team, 1952


12 responses

  1. This a photo that I restored in the process of the book that I am working on. I am not sure how this one of Dad ended up here, but I am so very proud. Harry “The Horse” Evans was my father, originator and leadman of the Skyblazers in 1949. He led the team with twins, Buck and Bill Pattillo, as his wingmen, and Dag Damewood, as his slotman, until 1952. John Patrick O’Brien was all around utiliity man and could fill any position if needed but never was. He often flew the number 5 position, as the Thunderbirds do today, and was tragically killed at Manston Air Force Base, England in May of 1952.
    Anyone that knew these men or was involved in any way is encouraged and more than welcome to contact me at
    Kelly Ann Evans

    January 13, 2013 at 11:00 am

    • Joe W. Fandrich

      Hello Kelly,

      My name is Joe Fandrich. My step father was Victor W. Fandrich, commander of the 36th Field Maintenance Squadron at Furstenfeldbruck and later at Bitburg. I was with my step father at Fursty from 1951-1952 and then at Bitburg from 1952-1954. I remember the Skyblazers, Maj. Evans and the Patillo brothers. My step father passed away last year in Texas where he had made his retirement home.



      January 23, 2014 at 9:49 pm

      • Kelly Evans

        Sorry to have missed you, my friend. 🙂

        February 11, 2015 at 12:57 am

    • Bill Flynn

      Just replied to you, Kelly at I was a member of the 22nd at Fursty/Bitburg 1951 to 1954, Knew your dad and all the Skyblazers well. More info with an offer of Skyb;azer photos sent on radiogirl address.
      Bill Flynn

      June 30, 2014 at 7:35 pm

      • Kelly Evans

        omg…Bill just found all this. Please respond

        February 11, 2015 at 12:59 am

      • Kelly Evans

        Joe…I am the daughter of all of it. 🙂

        February 11, 2015 at 1:25 am

      • Kelly Evans

        Are you still there, Mr. Flynn? I want to talk to anybody that knew my dad. He was an Asshole, but I am lookin to forgive..

        February 11, 2015 at 1:37 am

      • wayne huffstetler

        My father Billy Thomas Huffstetler was a crew chief with the Skyblazers at Firstenfeldbruck and then at Bitburg. He was assigned to tail #234. He initially was an engine specialist then crew chief with the group for 18 months. We at one time had his old jacket with the patch but was lost when he moved. Dad is listed as a member at Wright Patterson Air Force Museum in Ohio. If you have any pictures you could share I would love to see them.
        Wayne Huffstetler

        July 5, 2017 at 1:38 am

  2. Kelly, I was stationed at Manston RAF Base, England and was at the air show in May 1952 when Capt John Patrick O’Brien was killed. I was standing along side the runway and saw one of the wings come off the airplane and crash right in front of my eyes, so to speak. The security police had a really hard time keeping the crowd back as I remember. I worked in the Air Inspector’s Office, 3917th Air Base Group, at that time.
    The demonstration team had put on a wonderful show and was winding up with the “bomb burst” demonstration. All the planes flew straight up and then spread out and headed back down. Capt O’Brien was the 5th man and came down in a dive sort of behind the observers and when he was pulling out of the dive one of the wings separated from the plane. He dove directly into the earth with a very large boom. Am happy to provide this information. Hope it helps.
    Robert G Green, MSgt, USAF

    November 10, 2014 at 2:54 am

  3. Daphne Marple Moore

    Hi, Kelly,
    My name is Daphne Marple Moore. My father Jim was your grandmother ‘Sis’ Evans brother, so I guess we are 2nd cousins. Only met you Dad once or twice and was very young, but have. First cousin who knew him well. I’m sure she would love to talk to you if you like. Interested just let me know. See your Aunt Betty Sue in Braxton Co. quite often. Please contact me when your book is completed.

    July 22, 2015 at 2:28 am

  4. Chuck Marple

    Hi Kelly,
    My father used to talk about your father and last year I got some info from a relative in WV and it was the first time I knew exactly what he did! My grandfather was W.H. Marple, most people called him Hobe. What makes it really special to me is that both of our children are career Air Force. Our daughter is a major and an battle management officer in the JStars program here at Warner Robins (Robins AFB). Our son is a master sergeant and stationed in Fairbanks. Going there again this summer. What is interesting the Thunderbirds are coming to this base in the fall. It will be interesting to talk to them and relate to them that I am related the person who began and commanded the first Air Force demo team….

    March 13, 2016 at 9:49 pm

  5. Chuck Marple

    Kelly, my father was a cousin of your father. He often talked about Harry when I was young. It was neat to look up info about your father. Both of our children are career Air Force. Our daughter is a major stationed here in Warner Robins, Ga, where we now live and our son is a master sergeant and stationed in Fairbanks, Alaska, where will be visiting next month. The Thunderbirds are scheduled for an air show here in the fall, so I will show them pics of your dad and tell them about being related to the man who began Air Force acrobatic teams. Very neat.

    May 3, 2016 at 11:28 pm

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