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The Third Bird: 1941

The Third Bird: 1941

August 1941. "Poultry raised under FSA 'Food for Defense' program feeds Army flight trainees. Cadet E.A. Peresich Jr. takes his third helping of fried chicken. Craig Field, Southeastern Air Training Center, Selma, Alabama." Photo by John Collier, Farm Security Admin. View full size.


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Teen idol combo clone

Is it just me who thinks Cadet Peresich looks like a mix between Elvis and Ricky Nelson?

In the era of good cooks, not chefs

As a 69 yo Louisianian I can tell you that is how southern fried chicken ought to be fried -- light egg wash tossed in seasoned plain flour and fried in a cast iron skillet in lard until extra, extra crispy where you can actually gnaw off some of the crunchy rib bones. Served with biscuits, creamed potatoes, canned peas and chicken gravy made from the drippings and the seasoned flour.

Today's chicken chains make the batter too thick resulting in fried dough adhered to flaccid chicken skin. And although they cook the chicken through, they don't go that extra few minutes to get the whole piece crunchy. And don't get me started on the ginormous sized birds we have today!

[When you're cooking for a hundred men, no skillets. You use the "Frialator." - Dave]

Eugene Peresich 1920-2015

From Cadet Peresich's obituary:

He became a flight instructor at Cochran Field in Macon, GA, training pilots of England's Royal Air Force. During WWII he served as a B-17 pilot and squadron commander in the 457th Heavy Bombardment Group stationed in Glatton, England, and flew 28 missions over France and Germany. Among other commendations, Lt. Col. Peresich was awarded the Air Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Croix de Guerre with the Star of Valor.

The day new Army buddies met

There were no Pedersens, Peels, Peglers, Peltons, Pembrokes, Penlands, or Peppers in line.

Perhaps Pensive Peck is Picky

While Cadet E.A. Peresich Jr. takes his third helping of fried chicken, Cadet Peck appears to have sampled two pieces and not finished either. As difficult as it is for an old southern boy like me to believe ... not everyone loves fried chicken.

No pinfeathers please

The chicken plucker has done it's its job. Something looks like a fingernail though.

Pensive Peck

The other guy looks as if he may have gone along when John Collier took those photos of the chicken killer and electric plucker.

Fed up

Cadet on the right is thinking, "If I hear just *one more* joke about chicken and my last name!"

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