Last Name:   

First Name: 
George R.
July 2, 1918 / November 28, 2005
Versailles, Kentucky
Second Squadron, Panda Bears
Crew Chief
Presidential Unit Citation, Bronze Star
Pre AVG: Joined the Kentucky National Guard while still attending high school.  Joined the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1939 and was assigned to the 94th Pursuit Squadron as a mechanic’s helper on P-26s at Selfridge Field AFB, Michigan.  Graduating first in his class of 300, he finished his aircraft engineering training in July, 1940, and was assigned as P-40 crew chief.  On June 13, 1941, George, his friend Moose Moss, and several others from the group based at Selfridge left for their adventure in China with the AVG.
AVG Service: Assigned as a Second Squadron crew chief.  His comments on the duties to be performed:  “…we had to use our ingenuity to maintain the planes, due to not having spare parts.  We never said we could not make a repair, we just did the best we knew how.  Planes were never permitted to go up that were not airworthy, even though they might have looked worse for wear.  The British took time out for tea, but we could not afford that luxury, due to our heavy maintenance schedule.”
Reenlisted with the USAAF, 23rd Fighter Group.  Throughout the rest of the war, he also spent time stateside testing a wide range of allied and axis aircraft, including the P-51, P-38, P-39, Spitfire, Hurricane, Md109, Fw190, Mitsubishi “Betty” and Zero.
Post War Career:
Remaining in the Air Force Reserve after WWII, George was recalled in 1948 to participate in the Berlin Airlift with the 60th troop carrier group.  He continued in the Air Force, maintaining and testing a wide variety of aircraft in locations all over the world, until his retirement from the Air Force in 1962.

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