P-38 Pilot Ralph Maloof's Story
WARBIRD RADIO - Looking back through our archive, Ralph Maloof's story really stands out. He flew P-38's in WWII, but he's been a life long learner and engineer. His story is remarkable because it embodies the best of his generation.
In 2015 we caught up with Ralph, and he stopped long enough to share his story with us on Warbird Radio Presents (now re-released and available via the link below). Towards the end of the interview, the late Cowden Ward asked Ralph if he'd like to go flying in his P-51. The interview was abruptly over because Ralph just stood up and headed towards the Mustang! It was a great moment.
We got Ralph strapped in and soon after, they were airborne over EAA's AirVenture fly-in. It was a perfect afternoon to watch Ralph take flight, and I'll never forget hearing Cowden's P-51 roar down the runway that afternoon. It was a typical Oshkosh afternoon with lots of General Aviation airplanes buzzing around, then all of a sudden, the music of the Merlin takes over. The whole airport could hear the V-12 thundering along, and if you looked hard enough, you could no doubt see Ralph's smile zooming down the runway.
It was a great day for reliving old memories, and flying a WWII fighter again for Ralph, but we enjoyed his stories the most. His career as an engineer was mind boggling. He just never stopped. Ralph's mind seemed perpetually curious, and as a result, he became a self described "diversified engineer". Working for the greats, including Walt Disney himself, Ralph's career has been vast and continuous.
I'm always in awe of this generation, and Ralph's story simply perpetrated this experience for me. Perseverance, life long learners, and love of country are just a few of their qualities. Preserving their stories for the next generation is important, because these folks made it happen, in spite of the hand they were dealt. They just got in there and made it happen, so I'm hoping to keep these stories around as examples for a long time.
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Founder / WarbirdRadio.com