I am fortunate to have retired Colonel Richard Heyman as a neighbor here in Creswell. I consider an iron-jawed icon of the American fighter pilots of yesteryear. Today he is enjoying his well-earned retirement with his beautiful English bride.
During World War II, at the age of 19, he prowled the skies over Germany looking for a fight in support of our allied troops below. He flew the P38 Fighter and the P51 Mustang. Some of you might recall the P51 Mustang was like a blown Corvette on steroids.
During his service in Korea, he flew night missions in the A26 Fighter/Bomber with one confirmed night kill. During the Viet Nam war, he served two tours of duty flying the F105 Jet Fighter. Generations of us owe him our gratitude for he risked his life to help keep us alive and free.
This man is not a rich man, except in ways of the heart. Not too long ago he TWICE donated a considerable amount of money to our school system here in Creswell for the benefit of the students. My understanding is no one from our school system has yet offered their appreciation for his benevolence.
I remain disappointed he hasn’t received proper recognition from the City, or at least the school board. If I were in charge, I would name one of the school buildings after him. Within the building would be an acrylic display case filled with his military memorabilia, pictures and perhaps a brief synopsis of what it must have been like flying those hair-raising missions at such a young age, perhaps a teenager of today might feel inspired to reach a little higher. Meanwhile, a simple “Thank you” from your heart will do.