Every weekend onboard the USS Yorktown, scout troops camping aboard have the option of working on their aviation merit badge. At each class, the scouts also have the opportunity of earning a Top Gun patch.
Utilizing Combat Flight Simulator 2, Pacific Theater, scouts fly the F-6F Hellcat in an overhead intercept against a Japanese bomber. I teach them the technique and coach them, but it is still a challenge for many and not everyone is cut out for this job.
They must shoot down the bomber and survive the encounter to win the patch. During a time frame of ten weekends of fun and two classes each weekend, only four patches are normally given out in the ten week period. Needless to say, the patch is not a gimme!
Our last winner was Boy scout Jordan Logue of Troop 97, Belton, SC. We started off the year with two winners in a row (almost unheard of) and have had no winners in the last two weekends.
Those who leave Patriots Point with the patch treasure it and those who leave without it are envious. I’ve heard from several of the parents of past winners who say that their sons/daughters now aspire to a career in aviation. We’ll need more pilots in the future like Sully Sullenberger, so scouts come camp on the Yorktown and try to earn your own Top Gun patch, but remember not everyone does…