Saturday, March 12, 2005

"Uncle Jimmy"

This is a picture of my mother's brother, James Kostal. "Uncle Jimmy" was five years younger than my mother. He was an excellent athlete in high school and enrolled at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. He left school and enlisted in the Air Force. He was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Air Force with the 462nd Strategic Fighter Squadron. On October 15, 1953, he was practicing carrier landings in the Sea of Japan when his plane crashed. Despite a lengthy search, his body was never recovered. I was only 14 months old when he died. I did meet him once as we have a picture of him holding me. Ironically, my mother and I were visiting my grandparents in Ravenna when the telephone call came from the Air Force notifying my grandparents of the accident. My grandfather was so shaken up that he gave the telephone to my mom. There is a small military marker with his name on it in the Ravenna Cemetery next to my grandparents' grave. He was only 23 when he died.

Sad.

I'm sorry I never got to know him.