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The Meaning of "Check-Six"

The term "Check-Six" has its origin in common direction-telling methods (as seen in films like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, or Twelve O'clock High).  For example, "I see an airplane at 11 O'clock"...  referring to the bogey (another aircraft) being to the front and slightly left of the aircraft ("12 O'clock" being directly ahead).  Using this technique, "6 O'clock" is directly to the rear of your aircraft (and is also a very vulnerable position to be attacked from), or otherwise your posterior.  Thus, the term, "Check your Six O'Clock," or as shorten for brevity-sake to "Check-Six," means to watch your rear.  

For us, it also refers to looking back into aviation's past.  

 

"One More Roll..."

 

We toast our faithful comrades, now fallen from the sky,

And gently caught by God's own hand to be with Him on high;


To dwell among the soaring clouds they knew so well before -
From dawn patrol to victory roll - at Heaven's very door;


And as we fly among them there, we're sure to hear their plea,
"Take care, my friend; watch your six, and do one more roll... just for me."

 

Written By Commander Gerald Coffee, U.S. Navy

(while a Prisoner of War in Hanoi, 1968)

 

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This page last updated Saturday, November 22, 2014

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