Return of the scout Topgunners!

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Every weekend during our aviation merit badge class, we have a portion dedicated to a little competitive spirit among the scouts in seeing if any have what it takes to win the “Top Gun” patch I wear on my flight suit (they must get a kill in air combat and survive). Over the past three years the averages have worked out to about 4 winners out of 20 classes in which normally around 10 lucky scouts get to fly the Hellcat (4 out of 200 scouts). That makes for a 2% success rate, so the scouts who do earn the patch are the very Top of their scout compatriots.

For some reason this summer has seen very poor production of scout “Top Gun” winners (must be because of the recession) as my last scout winner was back in April.  However, the tide eventually turns and the wind shifts…this weekend we had two “Top Gun” winners. The first on Saturday was Life Scout Earl Wells of Troop 757, Huntsville, Alabama.

Life Scout Earl Wells, Troop 757 Huntsville, Alabama, is awarded the coveted "Top Gun" patch on USS Yorktown, CV-10.

Life Scout Earl Wells, Troop 757 Huntsville, Alabama, is awarded the coveted "Top Gun" patch on USS Yorktown, CV-10.

On Sunday, another Life Scout, Ian O’Canna of Troop 1784, Versailles, Kentucky, became the 2nd Top Gun scout of the weekend.  He is pictured (left)  below with Tenderfoot Scout Ryan Southern (right) of Troop 936, Longwood, Florida. Ryan was our first scout pilot on Sunday and  successfully took off in the F-6F Hellcat.

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I’m glad to see the summer’s long drought come to an end and look forward to more scout Top Gun winners in the near future. Keep up the great work and enthusiasm scouts!

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