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1950's USAF Thunderbirds Zippo to Col "Skeets" Gallagher

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Found this zippo today at a little junk shop. The lighter was made between 1950 and 57 and is engraved to "Skeets" Gallagher along with the USAF Thunderbirds logo. Col Robert K "Skeets" Gallagher flew P-47s in WW2, leading the first P47 squadron to deploy to the Pacific. After the war he led a demonstration team, consisting of 12 P47s. He later flew F80s in Korea and was the Kunsan AFB CO in 1952 and again in 59. He continued his career in the Air Force and retired in 1969.

During his time as the leader of the P47 equipped Demo team, the "Bomb Burst" maneuver was developed and is still used today. This may be why he was given a lighter by the Thunderbirds team.

Pretty cool little Zippo !!


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col gallagher, aka "skeets," & his wife were very close friends of my parents!!!  in the 60's, col gallagher was stationed at perrin field [afb] in sherman, tx & my dad was chairman of the military affairs committee for sherman c of c.  daddy was best buddies with a ton of the officers & thus, as couples, too... we were at the officer's club a lot when we were little, esp the pool.  daddy went all over the country on trips with the military to see special military bases & he LOVED LOVED LOVED it!  he flew with the thunderbirds & we have all kinds of framed pictures, honorary plaques & 2 model planes they gave him.  when the gallaghers moved away, skeets sent christmas cards w long updates for years until he passed.  i have just sold my parents house & have gathered all the air force/thunderbird memorabilia to give to the flight museum here in dallas [they said they will take it if the perrin museum in sherman doesn't].  so all of my memories are very fresh ….thank you for this memory!  



tbird2 - IMG_4606.JPG

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