Former POW returns for Lemoore visit (Theodore Kopfman)

Fifty-six years after being designated a naval aviator, a former prisoner of war once again landed on the deck of an aircraft carrier — at one of Naval Air Station Lemoore’s F/A-18 Super Hornet flight simulators.

“I got it, I got it,” exclaimed Capt. (Ret.) Theodore Kopfman as he sat in an encased Super Hornet cockpit at the Strike Fighter Wing Pacific Fleet simulator facility. “I hit the number three wire. Oh, that was lucky!”

Kopfman, 81, returned last week to the air station where his family lived while he was a POW.

“I was born here in 1963,” said his daughter, Karen, who along with 12 other family members accompanied her father on a tour of the installation April 8. She was 2 1/2 years old when the jet aircraft her father was piloting was shot down during a mission over Vietnam.

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