|AN EAGLE'S WEDDING|
|Of the three original Eagles, Andy Mamedoff seemed to garner a few "firsts" among the American pilots serving in the RAF. He was the first and only one of the original three to be transferred out to another squadron, 133, and at the same time was promoted to B Flight commander, the first American to be granted such authority in an American unit. He was also the first American pilot during the war to marry an English girl. Sadly, all three of these firsts would soon be punctuated by his untimely death. What follows is a brief piece on Mamedoff's wedding.|
|From the left, Vic Bono toasts Mamedoff and his bride, Penny Craven.|
|Quoted from Vern Haugland's The Eagle Squadrons, pp. 58?-59
"Shortly before leaving 71 Squadron for his new assignment with 133, Andy Mamedoff had become the first of the Eagles to take a war bride, Penny Craven, a member of the Craven cigarette family. Best man Vic Bono suggested to the squadron that since most of the pilots were on readiness and unable to leave the base for a social occasion, they might take their Hurricanes up and honor the couple with a fly-past right after the church ceremony at Epping.
"Two of the pilots, Bill Geiger and Ed Bateman, flew over the little town first. The bridal party rushed out from the inn where Robbie Robinson, 71 Squadron intelligence officer, was host at the luncheon. The other pilots came thundering over minutes a few minutes later.
"'It was a market day,' Bono recalled. 'Never before had planes flown over at such a low altitude. Pigs and lambs scattered everywhere, leaving the marketplace a wreck.'"
NOTE: While Bono is seen here as Mamedoff's best man, it is very likely that Red Tobin would have been given the job had he survived to see the wedding, given what he and Mamedoff went through together in getting to the RAF in the first place. Tobin died mere weeks before the wedding. However, it might not have been possible even if Tobin had survived due to Mamedoff's recent transfer into 133 Squadron and a different airfield. Regardless, it is rather sad to see Mamedoff present without Red Tobin at his side.
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