Flying Tiger Line Pilots Association
"Friendly Fighter Pilot" Wayne Peake Gets Dying Wish: Burial in Israel
When Wayne Peake passed away, he would be buried in Israel, in response to his own dying wishes.
Peake, a non-Jewish, American pilot who flew combat missions for Israel during its fight for independence in 1948, was buried in the Christian section of Haifa Military Cemetery in Northern Israel with full military honors of the kind reserved for Israel's war heroes.
"When Wayne volunteered to fly for Israel," said his widow Allene, "it was just something he thought he'd like to do. But after he had been there a short while, he became totally committed to the cause for which he was fighting. In his lifetime, Wayne was proud of his family and his work with Flying Tigers. But he never felt he contributed anything really worthwhile to the world beyond that -- except in Israel.
While flying for Israel, Peake's distinguished performance included shooting down a British Mosquito plane that flew at higher altitudes than the less experienced Israeli pilots could reach. The Mosquito was flying daily reconnaissance over Israel, confident that his frustrated opponents couldn't reach him.
Peake earned his title of "friendly fighter pilot" during a skirmish one day when he saw that his opponent's gun was jammed, and waved a weaponless pilot off for more evenly matched combat on some other day.
Peake, who joined Flying Tigers in 1951; was known for his ebuillient nature and endless supply of jokes and quick-witted remarks.
"There was probably not a pilot more popular among his peers than Wayne Peake," said VP-Flight Operations Shad Shadowens.Back To Memorials