World War II veteran re-lives days as fighter pilot - - Jackson, MS

World War II veteran re-lives days as fighter pilot

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JACKSON, MS (WLBT) – An 88-year-old World War II pilot from Jackson got a real treat over the weekend. 

Cary Salter, who served in the European theater, got to see a restored P-51 Mustang fighter, just like the one he flew in France. 

Dan Fordice, son of the former Governor Kirk Fordice owns this P-51 fighter, which was the best fighter the United States had in World War II.  He says it was a life- long dream to own one and once he got it,  he decided to have it painted up just like the airplane, 88-year- old Cary Salter from Jackson flew in France in the big war.

"I knew at the time I interviewed him if I was ever able to make this happen, that's the way I wanted to paint the airplane.  And honor him for the things he did for this country," said Fordice. 

Fordice got Governor Haley Barbour and Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson to issue proclamations honoring Salter last Saturday. The weather was too bad to fly the airplane in for the ceremonies, but the weather cleared in the afternoon and the P-51 made two passes at Hawkins field with Fordice at the controls. Then the airplane rolled up and Salter got to climb up on it and bring back memories.  He loved it.  

"Seeing the whole thing is just great. It's kind of hard to believe that thing is 65 years old or better," said Salter. 

Salter won the Silver Star for his flying skills in World War II when he and another pilot scattered an estimated 90 German airplanes that were on their way to attack General George Patton's army. 

 "They said he said damn we ought to give those two guys the Medal of Honor." 

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