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

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

He said during his thousands of hours of flying he gained the name “Death Takes a Holiday Mazock” for his grace under fire.

“A lot of the men would only fly with George because they knew he would get them back,” said Mazock’s wife, Beth Mazock. “He was a talented pilot.”

Mazock said one of his most memorable missions was in 1943 when Chennault recruited him to fly over the Himalayas, or the “Hump,” into China.

“All I wanted to know was why and if I had enough gas to get back,” Mazock said. “All I was told was that I was picking up 17 very important people.”

When he landed on the speck of land described by his lieutenant, he learned who would be his passengers: 17 escaped prisoners of war who had been on the run for more than three months.

“To think what they had gone through,” Mazock said, pausing as tears filled his eyes. “To me, in one way I hated seeing them, but in another way I had to see them. No matter, we got them out.”

While loading up the men, Mazock said his fear of running out of gasoline came true. But hidden gas left over from the Doolittle Raid the year before was found and used to get Mazock and his passengers back to base.

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