From the Commander

49th FSA members and friends,

Words alone are inadequate to describe the memorial ceremonies in France and Corsica last month.  The dedication and heartfelt emotions expressed by the French people was overwhelming and leaves us with a deeper appreciation of our mutual friendship with them.  And of our legacy.

While the ceremonies were specifically for the five P-38 pilots we  lost in WWII, our thoughts and prayers were also with the 49th members who have passed on.  

The attached letter and photos further describe the ceremonies and surrounding events.  If there could be one additional item for your ‘bucket list’ it’s to participate in the ceremonies next April.

Tony Asterita

49th FSA CC

With sadness I am passing the news that Lee (Breezy) Briner passed away on 14 February.  Lee was past commander of the Association and was instrumental in passing the baton from the WWII era members and expanding membership to include later generations.  His pleasant personality, and readiness to relate a memorable story will be missed.

His funeral service was on 28 February followed by Interment with military honors at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, Annville, PA. Should you wish to share memories or express condolences to Lee’s wife, Alice, the funeral home website has further information.

Lee will be missed.  Our condolences go to Alice and his daughter Melissa and her family.  Alice, you will always be close to us and a cherished member of the 49th FSA.

Tony Asterita


Greetings 49ers,

As you are aware, each year our dear colleague Nico Courtine hosts a memorial service in France for pilots who gave their all in WWII.  This coming year (April 2023) will have a very special event and a cordial welcome is extended to each of you.

Nico recently introduced us to Mr. Steve Olds, President of the 1st Fighter Group Association. Steve organizes trips for American patriots and has hosted a number of Patriot Experiences around the world. He is offering a very unique opportunity to our veterans and active duty members. Steve and Nico have joined forces and Nico’s planned memorial service for next April has been expanded.  Besides activities with the Plan de Dieu wineries there will be many relevant military events as well as local tours of historical significance.  The attached flyer has details and also addresses a 2nd tour in late May 2023.

These events continue our legacy.  The flyer mentions honoring pilots from the 1st and 14th Fighter Groups.  The 49th Fighter squadron was under the 14th.  If you are interested in attending one or both events, or need more information let me know.  You can also register for these events using the links at the end of the flyer; would love to see you there.

Thanks and best to you,

Tony Asterita



Our ’49er to Remember’ project received a few entries which you’ve seen.  The attached tells about Joe and is most probably last in this short series. 

‘Joe’ is not an individual 49er.  Joe represents every 49er that served in the squadron from WW II to the present.  He represents both aircrews and groundcrews and others who supported the 49th mission.

As our Association fades into history, this ’49er to Remember’ is a final tribute to you ‘Joe’. Thanks for all you’ve done making the world a better place.

49th FSA