“I felt absolutely ecstatic. I’ll try not to be self-appreciating, but I have one of the sexiest pictures of me you ever saw in your life of me in a helmet and goggles. It was absolutely fabulous. I love it. It is a beauty, it really is. I mean that was the epitome because I had been raised with airplanes and seen guys—pilots—with helmets and goggles. And believe it all of a sudden, and here I am, and I am one.”
Editor’s Note: When Hicks finished his flight training in 1943, he received his wings and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Corps.