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Wa Yne Peake Buried in Israel

January 12, 1979
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A hero of Israel’s war for independence was buried with full honors at the Haifa military cemetery this week. He was Wayne Peake, an American non-Jew who was one of the first combat pilots in Israel’s fledgling air force in 1948. Peake died in Los Angeles last week at the age of 55 after a long battle with cancer. In compliance with his with, his body was flown to Israel for burial.

His wife and three children were joined at the funeral services Tuesday by other present and former Israel Air Force pilots among them Defense

Peake, who was a U.S. Air Force pilot during World War II, was one of the many American, British and South African pilots, Jewish and non-Jewish, who volunteered to Fight for Israel. After the war, Peake returned to the U.S. and joined the Flying Tiger Airlines, an international cargo carrier. He visited Israel again in 1967, after the Six-Day War When he first fell ill he asked Flying Tiger boss William Gelford to arrange for burial in Israel. Gelford passed on his request to Hod who, like Weizman, is a former Commander of the Israel Air Force.

It was decided to give Peake a military funeral of the Kind reserved for Israel’s war heroes. Many Flying Tiger pilots and associates of Peake come to Israel to attend the services. Peake was laid to rest near the grave of another American volunteer, Buzz Beurling who was killed when his plane crashed while ferrying medical supplies to Israel from Rome.

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