LT. COLONEL B.
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WAYNE HYDE, 91
U.S. Air Force
LAKELAND - Lt. Colonel B. Wayne Hyde, 91, passed away on October 23, 2013, at his residence due to natural causes.
He was born in Tryon, North Carolina in 1922. He grew up in Jessup, Maryland. As a boy, he dreamed of someday flying airplanes. At age 18, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps. Later he was awarded his coveted "Wings" and became 2nd, Lt. B. Wayne Hyde.
He flew airplanes in four different wars: In WWII, he flew fifty missions in B-17's over Europe, later B-29's over North Korea. He flew missions over the Soviet Union during the Cold War. He flew KB-50's six engine tankers, refueling fighter aircraft over the Atlantic, Europe, and later over Vietnam.
In WWII, on one mission over Europe, and estimated 200 Nazi fighter planes attacked his flight formation of B-17s bombers. It became a bitter aerial battle. Squadron gunners shot down an estimated 50 Nazi planes. Twelve US bombers were lost. Wayne's pilot skills enabled him to fly his crippled aircraft back to his Italian base. His plane had over 100 bullet holes in it, yet not one in his crew was injured. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
In his long career, he was awarded four air medals and many other medals and commendations. In retirement, after many weeks in home Bible study, the minister of the Dade City Christian Church baptized both Wayne and his wife Rena, into Christ.
He became a faithful witness in his newfound faith. Wayne Hyde's boyhood dream of flying was fulfilled.
Lt. Colonel Hyde is survived by his wife, Rena, son Tim and his wife Barbara.
A chapel service will be held on Monday, October 28, 2013, at 11 a.m., with a graveside service to follow at 12 noon with military honors at Lakeland Funeral Home and Memorial Gardens.
Published in Ledger from Oct. 27 to Oct. 28, 2013