90-year-old veteran shares his story: a dream to ‘fly, man, fly’

george mazock pilot

George Mazock is seen during World War II when he was in his early 20s. Special to the Northwest Florida Daily News

Published: Monday, February 11, 2013 at 10:28 AM.

CRESTVIEW — Even after 70 years, George Mazock still cries when he thinks about his time during World War II.

The 90-year-old Army Air Corps veteran says there were hard days during his 20 years in the military, but despite the emotional moments it was one of the best times of his life.

He says he was doing what he always wanted to do: fly.

“Dad wanted me to be a mechanic, but I wanted to fly, man, fly,” Mazock said as he showed visitors to his home his wall of honor featuring four generations of military in his family. “I wanted to fly for as long as I could make model airplanes. It’s all I wanted to do.”

At 21, just a month after World War II broke out, Mazock joined the Army Air Corps. After a short stint as an instructor he was recruited to become one of a handful of men in an experimental group taken from training straight to combat under Lt. Col. Claire Lee Chennault.

Mazock became one of the Flying Tigers, who flew only at night and under poor weather conditions with little to no equipment to guide them.

“A lot of people didn’t realize what was happening in China, but while we were there we held off 1.5 million Japanese. That would have made a difference,” Mazock said.

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