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Updated: Friday, November 15 2013, 03:19 PM CST
In 18 seasons as head golf coach at the University of Texas, George Hannon won nine conference titles, two national titles and guided future pros Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite to NCAA individual championships.
"I enjoyed my 18 years as a coach over there, and all those kids," Hannon recalled.
But before Hannon made a mark on UT history, he played a role in U.S. history.
Stationed in New Guinea, the Philippines and Manila, Hannon flew 43 missions with the Army Air Corps during World War II.
"I guess I was too young to think anything is going to happen," admitted Hannon.
The University of Texas and its fans often relive the glory of Hannon's golf teams and players. This weekend, Hannon will have the opportunity to reminisce about his original squad.
"I've already had sleepless nights thinking about this thing," said Tim Black, Fundraising Chairman for the Central Texas Wing of the Commemorative Air Force. "I'm real excited about it."
Prior to Saturday's game against Oklahoma State, Tim Black and the San Marcos-based Central Texas Wing of the Commemorative Air Force will perform a flyover with their vintage airplanes. Inside of this B-25 and high above Royal Texas Memorial Stadium will be George Hannon, 68 years after his last voyage in a warplane.
Why Hannon is a part of the flyover on Veteran's Recognition Day is a credit to his military record. How he got there is a credit to his coaching record.
"He represents the greatest generation ever, so I believe that was imparted to us on the team," said Mike Holbrook, who played for Hannon at Texas from 1964 to 1967.
Although Holbrook never heard Hannon share a war story, he knew how much of an impact those 15 months in the South Pacific made on his coach. So when Mike's wife Jill had the opportunity at a charity auction to purchase Hannon a seat in the B-25 on Saturday, this incredible opportunity took flight.
"It was just a no-brainer," admitted Jill. "I had to get that for coach. He's 89 years old and the epitome of an American hero."
Jill knows an American hero when she sees one. Her son, Tommy, is currently deployed in Afghanistan.
"Army infantry," explained Jill. "He's a scout and he serves with great honor and great pride. It's been emotional today so I can only imagine it's going to be very emotional on Saturday."
A coach, his pupil, his wife, her son. All linked by love for country and course - a course that Saturday, will come full circle.
by Adam Winkler
The Central Texas Wing of the Commemorative Air Force is located at the San Marcos airport. The hangar and museum is open to the public Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 9am to 4pm. For more information, click to their web site.