A quick hit of the Great Span for you: the bearded fellow standing in front of that F-100 fighter jet in 1955 is William Lundy, who was alive during the Civil War.1 The F-100 was used extensively in the Vietnam War. This photo is a reminder both that the Civil War was not all that long ago and of the incredible technological progress of that time period — we went from horses, steam engines, and cannons to cars, computers, and jet planes in fewer than 100 years.
See also The Last Documented Widow of a Civil War Veteran Has Died (in Jan 2021!), Meet America’s Oldest Living Veteran, and a TV Appearance of Lincoln Assassination Witness. (via @kane)
Lundy claimed to have been born in 1848 and fought in the Civil War, which would have made him 109 years old when he died. But it’s more likely that he was born in 1859. Either way, as a presumed Confederate soldier, he collected a pension for 16 years until his death. (Lundy out there really putting the “con” in “confederate”.)↩