100th OG burns piano to mark end of successful flying year, honors lost US service members

  • Published
  • By Karen Abeyasekere
  • 100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

The 100th Operations Group set fire to a piano to mark both the end of a successful flying and fiscal year for 2021, and honor the memory of the 13 U.S. service members who lost their lives in the Kabul airport bombing in Afghanistan in August, at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England, Oct. 1, 2021.

Setting fire to a piano is an RAF tradition and claims behind it state the origin relates to reportedly starting during World War II to honor fallen pilots, allegedly one being a skilled piano player. After every battle he would provide merriment and joy, but was when he was killed in battle, the tunes stopped. The rest of his squadron felt the most appropriate tribute was to burn his piano.