George was born June 22, 1941 in Edison, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States. His parents were separated when he was very young, after which his maternal grandmother, Matilda Eichert, joined the household to help raise George and his brother Vincent while his mother worked on a factory assembly line to support the family.
George spent most of his youth living in Highland Park, New Jersey. He and Vincent found a lot to do there, with a large park along the Raritan River and lots of hills for sledding and thrilling bike rides.
His memory of a day when the sky was filled with wave after wave of airplanes (most likely flying over New York City to celebrate the ending of World War II) set the stage for the rest of his life. From that point on, his life was centered on airplanes.
|Princeton University Graduation|
George advanced to the rank of ranger in the boy scouts. He also sang in church and school choirs as a featured soloist. In high school, he ran hurdles on the track team.
George's academic accomplishments earned him a scholarship at Princeton University, where he belonged to an eating club (Princeton's substitute for fraternities) and participated in a singing group (the Footnotes) and Air Force ROTC.
George simultaneously received his Aeronautical Engineering degree and Air Force commission in June 1963. He married Audrey Wilson September 23, 1963 in Morristown, New Jersey.
|F-105 Pilot Graduation|
After basic pilot training, George won a coveted assignment to the F-105, nicknamed "Thud" for the style in which it often returned to the ground. Originally planned as a bomber, it was larger, heavier, and less agile than other fighters, but it was also faster and could outrun any pursuers.
George completed F-105 training as number one in his class for both academics and flying. The final step in pilot training was survival school. George's daughter Lori was born while he was running around northern mountainsides and woods in winter trying to avoid capture by a bunch of bad guy impersonators while managing to not freeze, starve, or get lost (intended to prepare him for escape and evasion in the tropical jungles of Vietnam). He did not find out that he was a father until the completion of this training.
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