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Letter: In combat, Glenn saved Ted Williams

"The Right Stuff" follows John Glenn and other pioneering astronauts as it recounts NASA's Mercury space exploration efforts of the 1960's. Credit: Getty Images

With the recent passing of a true American hero, John Glenn, much has been said about his legacy [“The right stuff for America,” Editorial, Dec. 9].

But there is a story that many may not know. It involves another American hero, baseball great Ted Williams.

These two men flew combat missions together in Korea. Glenn was the hotshot test pilot who would one day crawl inside a capsule known as Friendship 7 and become the first American to orbit the Earth. Williams was the greatest hitter of his time, and perhaps of all time, who gladly gave up more than four prime years of his illustrious career to serve his country.

Williams, like many celebrities who served in our armed forces, could have had cushy assignments, but he chose to put himself in harm’s way by dropping bombs on enemy territory. On one mission, Williams’s F9F Panther jet was hit by anti-aircraft fire and caught fire. Glenn flew next to his wingman and pointed upward toward thinner air, which might extinguish the flames. He saved Willams’ life that day.

Michael Filaseta, Hauppauge