Late PM David Ben Gurion (R) visits 101 "First Fighter" squadron in 1948. Left: Gideon Lichtman and Maurice Mann. (Wikipedia) (Wikipedia)
Ben Gurion 101 "first fighter" squadron

 After flying state of the art fighters during World War II, Major Gideon Lichtman traveled to the nascent State of Israel to join the War of Independence. His contribution to the Jewish State remained a family secret for years.

When news reached the US that the newly founded State of Israel was under attack, Gideon Lichtman joined a small group pilots who formed the fledgling Israeli Air Force.

Despite using out-of-date equipment, shot down an Egyptian Spitfire on June 8, 1948.

After the war, Israeli intelligence discovered that Arab nations were targeting him for assassination, and his identity was changed to Gideon Rimon. He went on to teach for 30 years in Florida without his students ever learning of his exploits.

Lichtman, 94, died on March 7. He was buried with honors in Arlington National Cemetery.






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