First Lt. Bill Cannon, Piloting More than His Own Aircraft
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Does a good man’s life end at his death?
The answer for daughter Lisa Reinicke was, “No.” Her father was known by many
names: Buster, Bill, Billy, Dad, and the Football Flyboy. His deeds, no matter how small,
should be passed down to family, friends, and anyone looking for inspiration, and
life-lessons from one who worked, lived and part of the Greatest Generation. The
Football Flyboy was young, newlywed and a pilot in WWII. He was a good man.
One weekend morning, she determined that his spirit should not stay silent just because
his mouth could no longer speak words. “I open my dad’s old air force footlocker - still
solid, battleship grey, weathered, and a little rough from travel and age. His name is in
white lettering on the front: First Lt William R Cannon.”
What she discovered were yellowed envelopes bound in twine - hundreds of them - that
her father had written to her mother. Letters written daily during the last year of WWII
and received by his bride. Her daily letters disappeared - only three times during the
year, did the “mailman” catch up with him and teased with just a few of the hundreds.
“Before reaching inside, there was a feeling of the hands of time grabbing onto my heart,
knowing that this was such a huge part of not only his life but my mom’s as well.”
Meet Bill “Buster” Cannon, the Football Flyboy ... a good man with a good life who made