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Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day 2012

In Memoriam

Col. Robert Malcolm Elliot
11/8/1929 - 2/14/1968

Photo of Robert "Wild Bill" Elliot from The Graham AFB Class 55-I Yearbook
Photo restored and courtesy of Dave Rickard

Just over 44 years ago, Captain Robert M. Elliot, was assigned to the 34th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Korat Airbase in southern Thailand. He was due to come home after flying his 100th mission by the end of March 1968. But on the morning of Valentine's Day, February 14, 1968, his wife Billie awoke that morning in Hampton Roads, Virginia with the oddest feeling that her husband, Robert, had come to see her, to tell her he was gone. Her daughter, Julie, was crying, having felt it, too.

Halfway around the world that same day, Capt. Elliot's F-105D Thunderchief was number two in a flight of four. They were to make successive runs on their target near Hanoi. As Elliot was pulling off the target during one of his planned runs, his aircraft was struck by a surface to air missile. He radioed that he was hit, but the rest of the flight did not see any parachute or hear emergency beeper signals indicating that he was able to eject from the aircraft. Elliot was declared Missing in Action, and was posthumously promoted to the rank of Colonel.

His wife and family fought and lobbied hard with the Pentagon for years to find him or his remains and put their fears to rest. Fears that they were wrong and he might be wounded and tortured in a POW camp.

Finally in December 1999, The Pentagon announced that using DNA analysis and dental records, the Army Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii said that remains taken from a Vietnamese grave near the crash site are those of Air Force Colonel Robert M. Elliot.

Colonel Elliot's headstone in the Missing In Action section of Arlington National Cemetery was buried with him in new plot in the cemetery, Section 66, Grave 5652, on April 21, 2000. 

Rest in piece Col. Elliot, we honor you in remembrance this day, for giving the ultimate sacrifice for your country.

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In interviewing Lt. Colonel Russ Rickard, USAF (Ret.), who flew the F-102 Delta Dagger seen in the amazing beginning credits of every Steve Canyon Episode, he told me of another pilot he knew, at the time in 1958 who was also a young lieutenant flying "Deuces" out of George AFB in Victorville California. They had both flown F-102's for the Disney feature THE ABSENT MINDED PROFESSOR (1961) and other Hollywood efforts and had become good friends. Lt. Colonel Rickard went on to describe the spectacular long fast climb up up up from the George AFB runway seen during the end credits of every Steve Canyon episode. He told me that wasn't him flying the Deuce, that was his friend, a helluva pilot, and his name was Colonel Robert "Wild Bill" Elliot.



Here's the end credits from the much anticipated Steve Canyon episode "Operation Intercept" with Col. Elliot's stratospheric climb...and featuring a double-whammy of the repeated opening sequence at the very end featuring the flying skills of Col. Russ Rickard!

MORE on Colonel Elliot and Lt. Colonel Rickard in Volume 3 of THE COMPLETE STEVE CANYON ON TV, which is days away from going to the factory for manufacture. Stay tuned within the next several weeks for some big announcements!!

John Ellis
Hollywood, California

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To read more about The Complete Steve Canyon On TV Volume 3, click here and here (and also check earlier posts elsewhere on our blog).

NOTE that even though domestic and overseas shipping rates have gone up AGAIN recently, we are going to keep the $19.95 (postage-paid) price for the time being. I am certain however that we will have to change pricing for all of our DVDs following the release of Volume 3.

ALSO NOTE that only those that Pre-Order Volume 3 will get the special three volume slipcase (mailed in the same package) for free (as our gift to those who have supported us by pre-ordering)...once we release Volume 3 you will have to order ALL THREE VOLUMES of Steve Canyon as a box-set (which comes in the slipcase)!

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Milton Caniff's Complete Steve Canyon On TV DVD Volume Three

Please Click the button below to pre-order THE COMPLETE STEVE CANYON VOLUME 3 NOW!


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THE COMPLETE STEVE CANYON ON TV VOLUME 3!
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REMEMBER this DVD will ONLY be available directly from us (for the time being)...so reserve your copy TODAY!

By purchasing this and/or other items from this site you are helping us to get the COMPLETE Steve Canyon TV series out on DVD and we thank you for your support.

(NOTE that you must pre-order Volume 3 separately from any other items that we offer here...we apologise for the inconvenience but it is necessary for us to do it this way at this time)


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Email us at Ye Olde Caniff/Canyon Shoppe if you have any questions, comments, or are in need of any assistance. Thanks again for remembering Milton and for making this project possible.
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