75th fighter squadron obituary
The two young officers came to General Arnolds attention for their exploits before and in the early years of the war. Your entry has exceeded the maximum character limit. John R. Alison, an ace fighter pilot in World War II who helped organize and lead a broad American air campaign that enabled British forces to bog down the Japanese in the jungles of Burma, died Monday at his home in Washington. "My job was to take care of myself and to take care of the jet.". Inactivated on 5 Jan 1946. During World War II, the 75th Fighter Squadron was one of the three original squadrons (74th, 75th, 76th) of the 23rd Fighter . Upgraded to the F-86D Sabre Interceptor in 1953 at Suffolk County Air Force Base, New York, where the squadron remained for three years before moving to Dow Air Force Base, Maine. Bye successfully landed an A-10C Thunderbolt II with minimal damage, during an in-flight emergency last year, earning her the Air Combat Command Airmanship Award. 141114-F-AV342-049. Middle School 14 in San Antonio was named "Hill Middle School" after him in June 2013.. Constituted as the 75th Pursuit Squadron(Interceptor) on 17 December 1941 Redesignated 75th Fighter Squadronon 15 May 1942 Activated on 4 July 1942 Redesignated 75th Fighter Squadron, Single Engine on 28 February 1944 Inactivated on 5 January 1946 Activated on 10 October 1946 Redesignated 75th Fighter Squadron, Jet on 3 May 1949 Hill's first flight occurred at Winburn Field, when Marion P. Hair took Tex and a friend up in his Travel Air 4000. Taylor Bye, 75th Fighter Squadron pilot and chief of standardization and evaluation, poses on the flight line at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, May 5, 2021. During World War II, the 75th Fighter Squadron was one of the three original squadrons (74th, 75th, 76th) of the 23d Fighter Group. Redesignated as 75 Fighter Squadron on 15 May 1942. 169th Operations Support Squadron 803-647-8231. Overall, it was a 584-day project that lingered for a long time, but once we started to make progress you could see everyone getting excited about it.. A memorial to Army Rangers and Air Force Special Operations airmen killed in an Oct. 29, 1992, helicopter crash in the Great Salt Lake will be dedicated Sunday at 1 p.m. at Antelope Island State Park. Though such occurrences are rare, they do happen. The 23rd Wing at Moody AFB announced on Friday that Bye had received the Air Combat Command Airmanship Award because "she managed to skillfully and safely land her A-10 with minimal damage" despite the challenges she faced in the air. Major Donald K. Miller, Ret., 96, went to be with his heavenly family January 6, 2021. During an in-flight emergency in April of 2020, Bye was forced to land the aircraft without landing gear or a canopy. Another mishap in Arizona in March 2020 saw the A-10s engine compressor stall out; the engine was damaged and the pilot returned to base without injury. Previously, (the 75th) was unsure if it would fly again, said Tech. Altogether, Hill was credited with destroying 18.25 enemy aircraft. Jamie Sansom, 75th AMU production superintendent, were the maintainers who oversaw the reconstruction of tail-995. "We take the honor of being a member of the 75 th seriously, and use our incredible heritage as motivation to continue the legacy of excellence. , Hill died at the age of ninety-two on October 11, 2007, in Terrell Hills, Texas, of congestive heart failure. Minutes later, he belly-landed at Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, east of the gunnery range. Stay up to date with what you want to know. During World War II, the 75th Fighter Squadron was one of the three original squadrons (74th, 75th, 76th) of the 23rd Fighter Group.  On 19 December 2007, the last three of the A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft left for Moody AFB and assumed its current mission. On 25 January 2019, the squadron returned from a six-month deployment in support of Operation Spartan Shield and Operation Freedoms Sentinel. Leave a memory or share a photo or video below to show your support. By the time the AVG was disbanded in the summer of 1942, Hill was a double ace, credited with 12+14 victories. The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Major (Air Corps) David Lee "Tex" Hill, United States Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as Pilot of a P-40 Fighter Airplane in the 75th Fighter Squadron, 23d Fighter Group, Tenth Air Force, in aerial combat against enemy forces on October 25, 1942, while performing bomber escort duty over enemy-held territory in the China Theatre. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. condemned the mid-morning attack. Demotions, retirements, separations, and deaths all play a part in the formula which determines the promotion rate average. During this period, the 75th served under the Air Defense Command and flew the F-86 Sabre day interceptors with a mission to maintain a high degree of operational proficiency so that it might repel any possible enemy air attack. In his book Way of a Fighter (1949), the commander of the Flying Tigers, Gen. Claire Chennault, recalled that Alison got more out of that P-40 in his five-minute demonstration than anybody I ever saw before or after. When he landed, General Chennault said, members of the Chinese delegation pointed at the P-40 and smiled, We need 100 of these. No, I said, pointing to Alison, you need 100 of these.. He was born in Gwangju, Korea (then under Japanese rule), the youngest of four children of Presbyterian missionaries. Following a period of activations and inactivations, during which the squadron was assigned to such bases as Northwest Field, Guam, and Howard Air Force Base, Canal Zone, the squadron returned to active duty on 12 January 1951 as the 75th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron stationed at Presque Isle Air Force Base, Maine. Taylor Bye, 75th Fighter Squadron pilot and chief of standardization and evaluation, poses for a photo after receiving the Air Combat Command Airmanship Award at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, May 5, 2021. Air Force Capt. This doesnt happen very often in the history of the A-10, Joca said of Byes incident. , "Tex" graduated from San Antonio Academy, San Antonio, Texas, in 1928 and from McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 1934. Its my primary job to think of everything that [Bye] is not because she has a massive handful of an airplane that is falling apart.. Operating from numerous airfields within China, the 75th Fighter Squadron compiled an impressive record during World War II and received the Presidential Unit Citation. Sign up for service and obituary updates. ARTIFACT: Early 1960's United States Air Force 75th Fighter - Interceptor Squadron (FIS) jacket patch from when the Squadron was flying F-101's out of Dow Air Force Base. The 80th Fighter Squadrons executes air combat operations in support of U.S. and ROK interests in the Pacific area of responsibility. Without hesitation, he turned his aircraft on its back for a high-speed dive and placed his aircraft between enemy fighters and the B-24 bombers. After determining what was wrong, Bye had to figure out how to land the plane. A second event in Arizona in April 2020 involved an engine that caught fire and shut down in flight, but the pilot was not hurt. On 18 May 1972, the squadron was redesignated the 75th Tactical Fighter Squadron, and on 1 July 1972 was activated at England Air Force Base, Louisiana. , The 75th Fighter Squadron's first assignment as an active unit was in the China-Burma-India theatre. At 17, he became a pilot in WWII, and was attached to the 75th Fighter Squadron in China, Burma, and India Theater. On this date, Major Hill attacked, without hesitation, superior numbers of enemy aircraft that were rising to intercept United States B-24 bombers. With skillful marksmanship, he destroyed one aircraft and severely damaged three others resulting in their probable destruction. Within 72 hours, the 75th Fighter Squadron redeployed to Ahmed Al Jaber Air Base, Kuwait, becoming the first U.S. fixed-wing aircraft to be stationed in that country since the end of the 1991 Gulf War. Follow her on Twitter at @Oriana0214. At the same time the unit received their newly upgraded A-10C fighters, which allow for greater employment guided munitions. 157th Fighter Squadron 803-647-8455. Despite the damage, Bye was able to bring the busted-up A-10 back to Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, performing a successful belly landing. One G, zero knots is something Ive heard experienced pilots say, Bye said. Operating from numerous airfields within China, the 75th Fighter Squadron compiled an impressive record during World War II and received the Presidential Unit Citation. Bye, 75th Fighter Squadron chief of standardization and evaluation, safely landed A-10C Thunderbolt II tail-995 after that in-flight emergency. It is assigned to the 23d Fighter Group, Air Combat Command and stationed at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia . Tail number 995 was recently restored, and who better to fly the aircraft than Bye. Taylor Bye was descending for a strafing run and about to unload rounds from her A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft's 30mm GAU-8 Avenger Gatling gun last year when the training mission went sideways. On Nov. 3, 2021, Bye departed on a sortie in that same A-10C. Colonel Cochran, who died in 1979, had been a successful fighter group commander in North Africa. John Alison, left, after a 2008 Air Force presentation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Cynthia Griggs) Surviving are his daughter, Mary (Carl) Straley; son, Ron (Caroline) Miller; daughter-in-law, Nan (Randy) Miller; ten grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren. On her canopy-less descent back to Moody, Bye tried to shift down in her seat to shield herself from the 350-mph winds whipping the plane but blocked her view of the runway in the process. The squadron moved to Moody AFB, Georgia in 2007 due to the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) panel recommendations. , In 2002, he was conveyed an honorary lifetime membership in the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary (Civil Air Patrol) with a squadron of the CAP named in his honorthe Tex Hill Composite Squadron, of San Marcos, TX (SWR-TX-435). This really did mark the last point at which the Japanese could have expanded their empire in Asia.. On Thanksgiving Day 1943, he led a force of 12 B-25s, 10 P-38s, and 8 new P-51s from Saichwan, China, on the first strike against Formosa. US Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Briana Beavers, NOW WATCH: The Air Force's A-10 Warthog targets ISIS fighters with this massive gatling gun, pulled off an emergency belly landing in her A-10C Thunderbolt II attack aircraft in April 2020, 23rd Wing at Moody AFB announced on Friday, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, that blew off the canopy, stripped off some of the panels, and damaged the landing gear, made an emergency wheels-up landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California during a 2008 training flight. A National Guard pilot was awarded after a similar incident in 2017. In November, then-Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett presented the Distinguished Flying Cross to Maj. Brett DeVries, an A-10 pilot with the 107th Fighter Squadron at Michigan's Selfridge Air National Guard Base, for executing a successful emergency landing without his landing gear or canopy. , On the same day as its activation, the 75th scored its first major victory during a night interception flight against Japanese bombers. Find 75th fighter squadron images dated from 2014 to 2020. The 75th Fighter Squadron (75 FS) is a United States Air Force unit. Major Hill's extraordinary heroism and zealous devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the 10th Air Force, and the United States Army Air Forces. (Airman First Class Eugene Oliver/Air Force) About 240 airmen with the 75th Fighter Squadron, which flies A-10C Warthogs, began returning home to Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, Georgia,. The enemy managed to get seven fighters airborne, but they were promptly shot down. The squadron is equipped with the Fairchild Republic A-10C Thunderbolt II attack aircraft. Bye was the flight leader for the exercise that day, the release states. During one of the passes, his gun malfunctioned, creating turbulence that blew out the canopy. Besides David, Mr. Alison is survived by his wife of 60 years, the former Kathleen Arcidiano; another son, John; and three grandchildren. Several hundred men and 348 aircraft including C-47 transports, Waco CG-4A gliders, P-51 fighters and B-25 bombers were assigned to the mission. , Hill made his first kills on January 3, 1942, when he downed two Nates over the Japanese airfield at Tak, Thailand. Altogether, Hill was credited with destroying 18.25 enemy aircraft. Taylor Bye, 75th Fighter Squadron standardization and evaluation chief, prepares to enter the A-10C Thunderbolt II tail-995 cockpit at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Nov. 3, 2021. It flew the A-7D until 1981 when conversion to the A-10 Thunderbolt II was completed. I think it will help build my continued confidence in learning how to fly the A-10 and mastery of it. Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information. A typical training flight over Georgia last spring turned nightmarish for A-10C Thunderbolt II pilot Capt. Received A/OA-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft transferred from the 353d Tactical Fighter Squadron at Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, South Carolina prior to the 353d's inactivation and the base's closure in January 1993. A cann manager is in charge of keeping record of parts taken from a cannibalizing jet. On 2 December 1991, the 75th Fighter Squadron was inactivated as part of the conversion to the Objective Wing and drawdown of the Air Force after the end of the Cold War. This was the first night interception ever attempted over the China theatre and gave the Japanese quite a shock. During the early days of its history, the 75th's mission was to attack and destroy the enemy by strafing airfields, troops, and supply depots, while maintaining air superiority so that the Japanese could not locate and bomb targets in China. Get the best deals for 75th fighter squadron at eBay.com. On 18 May 1972, the squadron was redesignated the 75th Tactical Fighter Squadron, and on 1 July 1972 was activated at England Air Force Base, Louisiana. Taylor Bye safely landed an A-10 with no canopy and inoperable landing gear last year. On 19 December 2007, the last three of the A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft left for Moody AFB and assumed its current mission.  He shot down two more on January 23, and became an ace the next day when he shot down a fighter and a bomber over Rangoon. These depict the 75th Fighter Squadron of the 23rd Fighter Group (succeeding the AVG Flying Tigers), based in China during WW2 Flying shark-mouthed P-40s and P-51s, under Claire Chennault and Col. Robert Scott, they mounted a monumental effort against the Japanese. The F9F-6 Cougar was the first F9F variant with swept wings. Ryan Callaghan) Photo Details/ Taylor Bye, 75th Fighter Squadron standardization and evaluation chief, and her wingman fly over the flightline at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Nov. 3, 2021. On a basic surface attack in 2020 Capt. The 89th Fighter Squadron "Rogues" will push those who think they are good . He was preceded in death by his wife, Alice; daughter, Dona (Jerry) Kelker; and son, Randy A. Miller. This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency. Postwar, in July 1946, Hill was asked by Texas Governor Coke Stevenson to activate and accept command of the 136th Fighter Group of the Texas Air National Guard. Which is why I think the Air Force and the military in general do a great job practicing emergency procedures because the more intuitive it is the more likely you are to handle the situation better, Bye continued. His sights were set after a barnstormer took him on a flight as a teenager, his son David said. The boys had snuck out of church one Sunday, and paid for the flight with their collection money. This article incorporatespublic domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/. Although the events surrounding the flight can be mentally challenging, Bye said she remembers the advice of her mentors. The 75th Fighter Squadron (75 FS) is a United States Air Force unit. It is assigned to the 23d Fighter Group and stationed at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. This squadron went on to become the third largest CAP squadron in the nation and in 2003 became the most decorated CAP squadron in the nation receiving the Texas Squadron of Merit, Texas Emergency Services Squadron of the Year, Regional (SW Region of the USA) Squadron of Distinction, and National Squadron of Distinction. Lt. Col. Jeremy Johnston, 75th Fighter Squadron assistant director of operations, prepares to taxi an A-10C Thunderbolt II during a sortie surge exercise, July 24, 2019, at Moody Air Force. On the same day as its activation, the 75th scored its first major victory during a night interception flight against Japanese bombers. CANDLE HAS BEEN LIT CANDLES HAVE BEEN LIT, We are reviewing your submission. When anything [unusual] happens, its apparent and very easy to spot it and fix it, Ingber said in the release. The Japanese had 100 bombers and 100 fighters at Shinchiku Airfield, and the bombers were landing as Hill's force arrived. Became an A-10 training unit and remained at England AFB supporting the deployments of the 74th and 76th TFS. western airlines flight 2605 photos Facebook auburndale, florida events Twitter spiral approach in mathematics Pinterest how many ap classes should i take for stanford linkedin william rowdy harrell obituary Telegram Her courage and cool in crisis earned her the Air Combat Commands Airmanship Award in a May 5 ceremony at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, where she serves as a 75th Fighter Squadron pilot and its chief of standardization and evaluation. , On November 2, 2007, the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg observed "Tex" Hill Day with speeches, patriotic music, and friends' memories of the fallen hero.. , The 75th Fighter Squadron has deployed several times in the battle against global terrorism. D Troop 4-6 Air Cavalry Squadron (UH-60) 93d FS "Makos" (F-16C) 75th FS "Tiger Sharks" (A-10CII) 307th FS "Stingers" (F-15E) (Flying F-16C until Razbam launches) . During this period, the 75th served under the Air Defense Command and flew the F-86 Sabre day interceptors with a mission to maintain a high degree of operational proficiency so that it might repel any possible enemy air attack. ), the Washington Post, and others. The Dignity Memorial brand name is used to identify a network of licensed funeral, cremation and cemetery providers that include affiliates of Service Corporation International, 1929 Allen Parkway, Houston, Texas.  It is believed that he was the first to down a Zero with a P-51. The Pentagon has not provided any public updates or said when the formal policy will be issued. That incident is believed to be the first time in the four-decade history of the A-10 that a pilot landed with no canopy and with the landing gear up, the Air Force said in 2017. The chief of Irans nuclear program, Mohammad Eslami, acknowledged the findings of the IAEA report. Military Wiki is a FANDOM Lifestyle Community. ", "This doesn't happen very often in the history of the A-10," said Lt. Col. Stephen Joca, 75th Fighter Squadron commander. She then slowed down and allow her wingman, Maj. Jack Ingber, to inspect the damaged aircraft. "I guess I was nervous the whole time, but I didn't have time to think about being nervous. Taylor Bye, 75th Fighter Squadron standardization and evaluation chief, taxis to a canopy after her flight at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Nov. 3, 2021. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. After the flight, Bye climbs out of the aircraft. On 17 Dece Access your favorite topics in a personalized feed while you're on the go. Serving with the 75th Fighter Squadron, Bye was able to land the stricken attack aircraft with immense skill, showing her abilities as a US Air Force pilot. Activated on 4 Jul 1942. "What's most important is preventing total loss of the A-10 or, even worse, her life.". During the next four days, the AVG pilots flew continuous missions into the gorge, effectively neutralizing the Japanese forces. Before returning to the states in late 1944, Hill and his P-51 downed another six Japanese aircraft.. The 124th Fighter Wing conceived the idea to commemorate the unit's 75th anniversary and lineage to their predecessor, the 405th Fighter Squadron. Two years after the war, when President Harry S. Truman appointed him assistant secretary of commerce for aeronautics, The New York Times wrote, As Major Alison, according to dispatches in July 1942, he scored one of the most spectacular individual performances by the Air Forces in China by shooting down two of three Japanese bombers out of a nine-plane squadron that was raiding Hengyang in Hunan Province., John R. Alison, Ace Fighter Pilot in World War II, Dies at 98, https://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/10/us/10alison.html. Bye maintained control of the aircraft and safely landed the Warthog on its belly. After World War II, the squadron returned to the United States and was stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington. The 75th Fighter Squadron departed for Combat Hammer, an air-to-ground exercise hosted at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. , Squadrons either stood down on a rotating basis or kept combat ready or at a reduced readiness level called basic mission capable for part or all of the remaining months in fiscal 2013. The 75th Fighter Squadron's first assignment as an active unit was in the China-Burma-India theatre. The two officers were authorized by General Arnold to acquire as many aircraft and men as needed to insert British forces behind Japanese lines, to set up airfields to supply them and to evacuate the wounded. Despite these problems, DeVries got the plane back on the ground safely. "The heritage of our wing is impressive. On 3 April 1992, the squadron was again activated, as the 75th Fighter Squadron located at Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina. During an in-flight emergency in April of 2020, Bye was forced to land the aircraft without landing gear or a canopy. On 17 December 1941, the AVG 2d Fighter Squadron was redesignated as the 23d Pursuit Group 75th Pursuit Squadron and subsequently the 75th Fighter Squadron. In 1999, Hill was inducted into the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame located at the Lone Star Flight Museum in Houston, Texas. The U.S. Air Force was part of the Army during World War II, and was also called the Army Air Forces or the Air Corps. U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Ray Thompson, 75th Fighter Generation Squadron electrical and environmental specialist, fuels an A-10C Thunderbolt II during exercise Forward Tiger at the Henry. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Briana Beavers). When we see them walking in uniform among us, we may thank our military men and women. Taylor Bye, an A10C pilot with the 75th Fighter Squadron at Moody Air Force Base, Ga., and chief of standardization and evaluation, successfully landed her Thunderbolt II with.  This group of men, under the leadership of General Claire Lee Chennault, engaged in aerial combat against the Japanese very soon after 7 December 1941.. At the time of DeVries' mishap, the service said it was "believed to be the first time in the roughly 40-year history of the A-10 that a pilot had to land with no canopy and with the landing gear up.". "The decision of what award or decoration a member receives is at the discretion of local leadership, taking into consideration the requirements for the award, the actions of the member, the responsibilities of the member's rank, and the overall circumstances of the event the member is being recognized for. Remained at Dow Air Force Base until 1968 when it was transferred to Wurtsmith Air Force Base, Michigan. It is assigned to the 23d Fighter Group and stationed at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. As a subscriber, you have 10 gift articles to give each month. That's exactly what Bye managed to do. At 17, he became a pilot in WWII, and was attached to the "75th Fighter Squadron" in China, Burma, and India Theater. On 22 October 1962, before President John F. Kennedy told Americans that missiles were in place in Cuba, the squadron dispersed one third of its force, equipped with nuclear tipped missiles to Niagara Falls International Airport at the start of the Cuban Missile Crisis. To stem this tide, squadron leader Hill led a flight of four new P-40Es bombing and strafing into the mile-deep gorge. Claire Chennault would later write of these critical missions, "The American Volunteer Group had staved off China's collapse on the Salween.". "The ACC Airmanship award and Distinguished Flying Cross are not mutually exclusive, and receiving one does not prevent a member from being able to receive the other," she said in an email. Juggling a malfunctioning 30mm Gatling gun, a landing gear that wouldnt deploy and a cockpit canopy that fell off in flight, Bye managed to safely land the aircraft with minimal damage to the runway or the plane. The across-the board spending cuts, called sequestration, took effect 1 March when Congress failed to agree on a deficit-reduction plan. The American force returned home with no casualties. It is assigned to the 23d Fighter Group and stationed at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia.  It upgraded to the F-86D Sabre interceptor in 1953 at Suffolk County Air Force Base, New York, where the squadron remained for three years before moving to Dow Air Force Base, Maine. Read Next: VA Nursing Aide Reta Mays Gets 7 Life Sentences for Killing Veterans in Her Care, "My initial reaction was to climb away from the ground and then look at my engines," Bye, a 75th Fighter Squadron pilot and chief of standardization and evaluation, said in the release. Capt. The first operational deployment of a composite wing happened in October 1994, when Iraqi troops began massing near the Kuwaiti Border. Bye successfully landed her first flight in the aircraft since its restorations from a crash-landing that happened nearly 2 years ago. Preferred memorial to Wounded Warrior Project, P.O.  Tex then attended Texas A&M for two years before transferring to Austin College, from which he graduated in 1938. A chase aircraft accompanied her back to base, where airmen on the ground hoped she could avoid a fatal crash. Taylor Bye, 75th Fighter Squadron pilot and chief of standardization and evaluation, after receiving the Air Combat Command Airmanship Award at Moody Air Force Base,. The intercepting pilots were credited with the destruction of two enemy bombers and two probables. It is assigned to the 23d Fighter Group, Air Combat Command and stationed at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia.The squadron is equipped with the Fairchild Republic A-10C Thunderbolt II attack fighter. Airmen with the 75th Logistics Readiness Squadron unload cargo from a C-17 Globemaster III at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Aug. 9, 2019. Sign up for notifications from Insider! It consisted of an F-22, an F-15E, an F-16C, and a P-40 like the one Hill flew with the AVG. Find 75th fighter squadron images dated from 2014 to 2020. Related: A-10 Pilot Awarded Distinguished Flying Cross for Landing Without Canopy, Landing Gear. After 22 years in the Air Force, he moved to Fort Wayne and retired from Joselyn Stainless Steel.  He learned to fly the P-40 in the AVG training program in Burma, and did well as a fighter pilot in the 2nd Pursuit Squadron (the "Panda Bears") as a flight leader and then squadron commander, becoming one of the top aces under the tutelage of Claire Chennault. The 74th then moved to Thule AB, Greenland in 1954.