I graduated from Williams Air Force Base as a Second Lieutenant in October 1950, I spent the next several months flying F-86As at Selfridge AFB with the 61st Fighter Interceptor Squadron of the 56th Fighter Group. In March 1951, I went to Edwards AFB in California to fly accelerated service tests in the F-86E. From there l went to Wright Patterson with the 97th FIS, one of the first units to receive the "E".
Not long after this, I transferred to the 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing's 25th FIS. I went with our Sabres in November 1951 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Cape Esperance from Alameda, California to Yokosuka, Japan. Our aircraft and personnel next transferred to Suwon Air Base (K-13) in Korea to begin test and training missions, and I logged my first combat mission on December 15, 1951.
I got my MiG-15 kill on December 28.1951 during my fourth combat mission. We were still flying squadron formations. Our commander, Major William T Whisner, briefed us and led our group north to Sinuijm I was number two in our last flight and had Paul Roach as my flight leader. We proceeded north and ran head on into a massive flight of MiGs flying south. Both opposing flights turned back toward each other and then the shooting began.
Sometime during the battle, several MiGs lined up on our flight of four. I called for a break. After that. I found I was alone! I flew to the predetermined orbit point and joined up with my flight commander, Clifford Brossart. We then turned north toward the Yalu River where we spotted a flight of two MiGs heading south climbing through the contrail level. Cliff turned in behind and below the MiGs to remain unobserved and overtake them. I kept checking our six but did not see anything. When we got in range, Cliff took the MiG on the left. I checked behind again, and when I looked forward, I saw Cliffs MiG-15 pilot bail out! I then started firing at very close range at the other MiG. I hit the right side of the MiG's fuselage and wing root with a fairly long burst. Then I jinked to the left and sprayed that side. The MiG started smoking, rolled right and headed down. We followed. At this point we were at our bingos, so we climbed and turned south for home. Our gun camera film confirmed both kills.
I finished my 100 missions in June 1952 with 148 combat hours. I flew test and training for another month, and then returned home to my next duty assignment in Michigan.
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