Ernest E. Laib
Ernest E. Laib passed away at his home on August 4, 2005. He is survived by his three children. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery on August 31, 2005 at 9:00am with Military Honors. "Grecian Ern" flew A-4 Skyhawks with the VA-36 Roadrunners, and served as the Skyhawk Association Treasurer for eight years.
"Ernie started out as a whitehat near the end of WW II. Turns out we both served on the Ticonderoga at different times but he was a plankowner. I believe he said he reported aboard in early 1945. They set sail for the Pacific and operated in support of the island landings. He was aboard the day they were hit by 2 Kamikazes. He said those are the pictures you usually see on the History channel. One of them hit the bridge and killed the skipper plus most of the folks up there with him. I remember seeing a large bronze plaque on the island in rememberance of this event. Skipper's name was Dixie Lee Ray best I recall. I think Ernie said he had to wait almost 10 years before he was selected for flight training. Eventually, he became skipper of a squadron but I can't recall which aircraft. F-8's ?"