Richard A AinsworthMilitary
Rich Ainsworth told me that he had graduated from all fighter pilot schools, number three in his class. One day soon after graduation the CO called a formation. The CO called out names starting with "A", Ainsworth was called and sent to fly B26s as a co-pilot.
The transfer upset Rich very much but there was nothing he could do. He was assigned to an excellent pilot, Dick Gunn, who eventually became a Squadron and Group flight leader (first plane leading missions). Once in combat Rich flew as many missions as he could as quickly as he could, offering to fly back up for other pilots (see 15 December 1944) and co-pilots who could not fly for illness or other reasons. Feeling let down because he was moved from fighter planes to bombers, all he wanted to do was fly his 65 missions and get out.
This story was confirmed by Clyde Harkins, a long time friend. Rich was an outstanding man assisting people who asked questions on the B26.com message board since 1999. When Rich was young he surfed and spear fished at Crescent Bay, Shaw's Cove, and Laguna Beach, California. Rich wrote emails in caps and signed off with "DO KEEP IN TOUCH--O'L RICH--OUT".
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