The Golden Duke Awards

In the 1986 movie “Top Gun,” Tom Cruise played the part of an ace fighter pilot. Cruise’s character was based on Randy “Duke” Cunningham, a genuine ace, highly decorated for his exploits in the Vietnam War. Following the war, he was an instructor in the Navy Fighter Weapons School, known as TOPGUN. Cunningham parlayed his twenty-year Navy career into election to the U.S. House, representing California’s 50th Congressional District in San Diego County.

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