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Retired pilot Gene Thornton

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Oklahoma transfer reflects on life in the Navy and as a pilot
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Left: A picture of Thornton in his Navy cadet uniform. Top Right: Ruston resident Gene Thornton shows off the flight logs showing his literal years of service in the air as a pilot. Thornton’s flight hours add up to more than three years spent in a cockpit. Bottom Right: Thornton shows off a model of a Corsair F4U Navy fighter plane like he flew during World War II.

Many people might think Ruston isn’t the kind of a big city where you’d expect a big-time airline pilot with nearly 28,000 flight hours to live.

They’d be wrong.

Gene Thornton, a Ruston resident since 1980, is just such a retired pilot who’s come a long way since growing up as a the son of an Oklahoma oilfield worker during the Depression Era.
Thornton, 87, has been retired since 1984. But he has a lifetime’s worth of stories dealing with his love of aviation.

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