It is with great sadness that I am announcing the passing of another 417th NFS member, Earl “Sleepy” Hissett. He died on Thursday, January 10th, 2019. His funeral was held on January 12th. He is survived by his lovely wife Jo.
Earl was a member of the original 417th squadron. He was a mechanic and worked on the Beaufighter and P-61 engines. Rumor has it that he lied about his age so that he could join the war at the tender age of 16.
Earl tells a bit of his story on this video from the 2007 417th NFS reunion in Reading PA. Fittingly, he is standing in front of one of the P-61s that he worked on. In this video you will also hear the story behind his nickname “Sleepy”.
As far as I am aware, Earl was the last living member of the 417th and while his passing means the end of an era, I will do my best to continue to honor his service and those of his colleagues thru this website. Rest in Peace Sleepy.
Yes, it has been awhile since I last posted an update on this site. On this, the 1 year anniversary of my father’s passing, I decided that the best thing I could do to honor him is to go thru the many 417th items I brought home with me and build a few new updates on the website.
I chose to start with the Reunion photos. Keeping the 417th NFS alive in people’s memories was more than a hobby for my dad. It was a passion. He and my mother put in countless hours organizing the reunions. It was hard work but they loved every minute of it. The photos and other memorabilia from the reunions are a testament to this. I hope you will find a grandparent, parent, or fond friend somewhere in these photos and I hope it brings you joy even if they are no longer with us. It certainly did this for me.