Letter Written to Jim Shipman from Col. Cox, 457th Fighter Squadron
My profound sympathies for the loss of your fath er. Our generation is fortunate to have had such fine and noble men traverse the tumultuous times of WWII. The level of courage and skill that your father demonstrated while flying the P-51 Mustang from Iwo Jima did much to establish the USAF as the dominant force in tactical air warfare - for decades to come. The dedication, determination and true grit of your father and his comrades, laid the foundation for, our now, unrivaled Air Force. On behalf of all the men and women of the USAF, I offer a debt of gratitude for the service of Lt Col Harrison Shipman. All active US fighter pilots stand tall ... on the shoulders of your father! I will spread the word to the men and women of the 457th FS. As we are on a night flying rotation this week, any pilots that are able to stop by for the visitation will likely be in flight suits. Having lost my father (Korean War era fighter pilot) a bit over two years back, my only advice is to enjoy the countless memories that will be revisited over the coming days / weeks / months.
Wishing you and your family the best...
BRUCE R. COX, Col, USAFR
301 OG Deputy Commander
"I think Col. Cox wrote a great tribute to not only my Dad, but his Dad, as well as the entire 506th and entire Army Air Corp and the entire "Greatest Generation" that Tom Brokow so aptly coined!
"Dad would not want to be singled out as someone "special" nor that he was doing anything but his duty, but I am certain, he would appreciate Col. Cox's sentiments for him as long as everyone understood it included not just him."