"Bud" Mahurin, top WWII fighter ace, dies at 91

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Walker "Bud" Mahurin, a fighter pilot who shot down two dozen planes in two wars and was regarded as one of America's top aces ever, has died, his wife said Sunday. He was 91.

Joan Mahurin said Bud Mahurin died of natural causes at his home in Newport Beach on Tuesday.

She said her husband kept flying small planes — and kept receiving fan mail — for most of his life.

"He would get letters from teenagers to old war veterans," Joan Mahurin said.

Doug Lantry, a historian at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Ohio, said Mahurin's name is familiar to all in the Air Force.

"Bud Mahurin was the only Air Force pilot to shoot down enemy aircraft in the European theater of operations and the Pacific and in Korea," Lantry told the Los Angeles Times. "He was known as a very courageous, skilled and tenacious fighter pilot."...

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