WWII FIGHTER ACE!
Deacon Priest left home in 1938 before graduating from high school and joined the Army as an aviation mechanic, then was top graduate in Glider school when the program shut down. The Glider Training CO sent him to flight training where he was commissioned as a second Lieutenant at Craig Field in November, 1943. He achieved his wings on the same day he was notified he had passed the US Military Academy Entrance exam and offered an appointment to West Point. Priest refused and became a fighter pilot which was the reason he joined the Army in the first place.