Wall of Honor Location:
Foil: 37 Panel: 1 Column: 1 Line: 17
Wall of Honor Level:
Air and Space Leader
My dedication to aviation began in November 1941 when I entered the Aviation Cadet Program. I graduated 26 June 1942, Class of 42-F, at Moore Field, Mission, TX. Then our class proceeded to P-39 training at Tallahassee, FL where I received 65 hours flying time. With that I proceeded to San Francisco, and on to Australia in the bomb bay of a LB-24. I arrived at Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea in September and was assigned to the 35th Fighter Group, 40th Fighter Squadron. In November 1942 we began flying combat missions against the Japanese Forces who were threatening Port Moresby. I flew P-39s until December 1943 when P-47Ds became available at Nadzab, New Guinea. In February 1944 I moved to Gusap where we were able to fly daily missions over the big Jap base at Wewak. I returned to the USA in March 1944 with 278 combat missions, and had been promoted to Captain, USAAF.
Subsequently, at Key Field, Meridian, Ml and at Hammond. LA I was introduced to the P-51. I gained a lot of flying time, and also was a gunnery instructor along the way. In April 1945 I received orders to return to the Pacific area, and eventually to the 35th Fighter Group and to my old 40th Fighter Squadron as the Squadron Commander. By July 2nd we were on Okinawa, flying combat missions over Kyushu, Japan. I accumulated 37 more combat missions and was promoted to Major shortly before the war ended.
Back in the USA I enrolled at St. Louis University where I graduated in June 1948. Recalled to active duty in August 1948, I instructed in Air Training Command. When the Korean War broke out I was soon on my way to Nellis AFB, NV for combat crew training in F-80Cs. In August 1951 I was in Korea, assigned to the 8th Fighter Group, 35th Fighter Bomber Squadron as the Squadron Commander. I flew 100 combat missions and returned to the USA in May 1952.
After an instructor tour at the Air Command & Staff School, I flew F-84Fs with the 27th Fighter Group (SAC) for a year, and then went to the Pacific area again to command an F-100D squadron at Clark AB, P.I. in the 13th Air Force. My tour ended in 1959, and I departed for the Air War College at Maxwell AFB, AL as a newly promoted Colonel.
After AWC came a Pentagon tour of 4 years working in OSD(Manpower). Then back to the flying line at McConnell AFB, KS flying F-105Ds in the 23rd Tactical Fighter Wing where I was the DO and Vice Commander. I had an operations staff officer assignment at 7th Air Force in Saigon in 1966-67. That earned me an European tour assigned to the 601 st Tactical Control Wing where I became the Wing Commander. I did a little flying in our 0-2 Cessnas, a push-puller forward air control airplane. My final assignment was Chief of Staff, Air University. I retired from the USAF in 1975, having flown 4705 hours, of which 858 were in a combat environment.