Abraham "Hap" Galfunt was born on October 26, 1922, in New York City, New York. He enlisted in the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Army Air Forces on August 27, 1942, and was commissioned a 2d Lt and awarded his pilot wings in August 1943. After completing training in the B-24 Liberator, Lt Galfunt was assigned to the 863rd Bomb Squadron of the 493rd Bomb Group in England, flying combat missions in the B-24, and later the B-17 Flying Fortress, before being forced to bail out and taken as a Prisoner of War on September 13, 1944. He was held at Stalag Luft 1 in Barth-Vogelsang, Prussia, until his POW camp was liberated by the Russians in May 1945. After returning to the U.S., Lt Galfunt left active duty and remained in the Air Force Reserve until receiving an honorable discharge on April 1, 1953. Hap Galfunt died on March 22, 2001. His nephew, LtCol Melvin Pollack, USAF, was a POW in Vietnam from 1967 to 1973.
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.