Lt. Col. Gra­ham Jack­son Fling Jr.

North Penn Life - - Obituaries -

Lt. Col. Gra­ham Jack­son Fling Jr., 90, rSAF oe­tired, Distin­guished Fly­ing Cross re­cip­i­ent, died Thurs­day, Nov. 29, 2012, from nat­u­ral causes at Dock Ter­race in Lans­dale. He was the hus­band of Mil­dred (Birsner) Fling to whom he had been mar­ried for more than 68 years.

Born Nov. 13, 1922, in Philadel­phia, he was the son of the late Gra­ham J. Fling Sr. and Mable (Thackara) Fling. He grew up in Glen­side, grad­u­ated from Abing­ton High School, Class of 1940, and then at­tended Drexel In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy in the chem­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing pro­gram be­fore en­list­ing in the r.S. Army Air Corps for avi­a­tion cadet train­ing in 1942. He be­came pi­lot in­struc­tor of ad­vanced sin­gle HQJLQH fiJKWHUV DQG WwLQ HQgine bombers for the du­ra­tion of World War II. In Oc­to­ber 1945, he sep­a­rated from the Army Air Corps and went into Army oe­serve sta­tus.

He worked for his fa­ther’s Glen­side Laun­dry busi­ness, then with an un­cle as a man­u­fac­turer’s agent for sev­eral r.S. com­pa­nies, and even­tu­ally took a job at Stan­dard Pressed Steel in Glen­side. Dur­ing this time, he joined with an ac­tive re­serve unit started in North Philadel­phia as chief in­struc­tor pi­lot on AT-6 and C-45 planes and earned the rank of cap­tain; in 1947, the re­serve unit moved to New Cas­tle, Del., where he was as­signed as chief in­strucWRU SLORW fly­LQJ &-46 DQG &-47 air­craft.

In 1951, he was re­called to ac­tive duty for the Korean War, where he was a for­ward air con­troller in Korea, then had as­sign­ments in the Philip­pines, Ja­pan, For­mosa and Ok­i­nawa. From 1953 to 1962, there were duty as­sign­ments through­out the r.S. and Canada. In 1963, he grad­u­ated from the Air Com­mand and Staff Col­lege in Mont­gomery, Ala., fol­lowed by a four-year tour of duty with Spe­cial Air Mis­sions in Wies­baden, Ger­many, fly­LQJ VHQVLWLYH flLJKWV EHKLQG the Iron Cur­tain dur­ing the Cold War. From 1967 to 1968, Lt. Col. Fling spent 14 months sta­tioned in Ko­rat, Thai­land, where he was chief pi­lot of Crew 10 of the 553rd oe­conQDLVVDQFH 6TuDGURQ DQG flHw 112 com­bat mis­sions over Viet­nam in a Lockheed EC121o Con­stel­la­tion, a four-en­gine, “spy-in-the-sky” plane. As a re­sult of oc­cur­rences on one of those mis­sions, he was awarded the Distin­guished Fly­ing Cross. Also dur­ing WKLV WLPH, KH EHFDPH WKH fiUVW man in the 553rd to reach the 10,000 fly­LQJ-KRuUV SRLQW. HLV fiQDO DVVLJQPHQW wDV DV WKH com­man­der of an oC-121 A:A& GHWDFKPHQW LQ .HflDvik, Ice­land. He re­tired in Novem­ber 1970, his ser­vice to his coun­try hav­ing spanned three decades and with his hav­ing flRwQ VRPH 24 dif­fer­ent types of air­craft while amass­ing more WKDQ 13,000 fly­ing hours. In 1972, Lt. Col. Fling and his wife set­tled in their new home in Har­leysville, Pa., where they spent 35 happy years. In 2007, they moved to the Dock Woods Com­mu­nity, where they con­tin­ued to en­joy their long and cher­ished mar­riage. All his life he loved mu­sic, early on learn­ing to play the pi­ano and also play­ing the trom­bone in his high school band, plus per­form­ing in school plays and min­strel shows. His vo­cal tal­ents were ev­i­dent in the churches he and his fam­ily be­longed to as they trav­eled, not only as a mem­ber of the choir but also as a soloist. He and his wife were ac­tive mem­bers of Wentz’s rCC of Lans­dale, Pa., adding their voices in joy­ful song to the choir for more than 23 years.

He could be seen help­ing set up for the an­nual Christ­mas Bazaar and di­rect­ing park­ing for the same. For many years, he lov­ingly cre­ated new, beau­ti­fully hand­crafted or­na­ments that be­came a bazaar tra­di­tion. And for sev­eral years he took on the role of Santa Claus for the church’s day care cen­ter.

In ad­di­tion to his beloved wife, he is sur­vived by his lov­ing daugh­ter, Elizabeth F. Cas­mas, of Lans­dale; his brother, oichard T. Fling and his wife, Norma, of Audubon, Pa.; his three neph­ews, Wil­liam J. Fling, David H. Fling and oobert M. Fling; sev­eral grand neph­ews and niece; and just this year two great-grand neph­ews. He was pre­ceded in death by his son, Gra­ham J. Fling III; his brother, Wil­liam J. Fling; and his sis­ter, Edith T. Fling.

oel­a­tives and friends are in­vited to cel­e­brate his life at his me­mo­rial ser­vice at 11a.m. on Tues­day, Dec. 18, at Wentz’s rnited Church of Christ, 3246 Skip­pack Pike, Lans­dale, Pa. In­ter­ment will fol­low in the ad­join­ing church ceme­tery.

,Q OLHu RI flRwHUV, FRQWUL­bu­tions may be made in his me­mory to Wentz’s rCC at the ad­dress above or to the Liv­ing Branches Foun­da­tion, Dock Wood­sLDock Mead­ows Shar­ing Fund, 275 Dock Drive, Lans­dale, PA 19446.

On­line con­do­lences may be made to the fam­ily at www. rl­williams­fu­ner­al­home.com.

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