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Wright still flying high at 86

Gloucester Point resident James Wright finds a unique joy in watching the expression on people’s faces the first time they see their hometown from the air.

That’s a sight that this pilot has enjoyed for more than half a century. Wright, 86, was one of 26 Virginia residents to be recognized by the Virginia Department of Aviation and the Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society as they honored the state’s aviation pioneers during a reception on June 9 at the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach.

Wright said he has always had an interest in flying and at the age of 16 went with his uncle to Statesville, N.C. to take flying lessons. The lessons were short-lived though because soon after arriving, his uncle wrecked the airplane he was training in and decided to quit flying lessons and enlist in the U.S. Army.

In 1944, at the age of 18, Wright also decided to enlist in the Army and was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division.

He took training for electronics ...

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