Donald G. Bergquist

Picture of Donald Bergquist DONALD G. BERGQUIST ,born Minneapolis, Minn. November 9, 1921. Service Dates: March, 1942.May, 1945. Graduated: Luke Field, 2nd Lt. AC.Res. in Class 43.B. Assigned: 36th Fighter Group, 23rd Sq. in April, 1943, remaining with that unit until leaving Belgium in November, 1944. Discharged: May 31, 1945 as a 1st Lt.

"-Awarded DFC, Purple Heart, Air Medal with 8 clusters, ETO medal with 5 battle stars. Flew 59 combat missions in Europe. Married February 29,1944 just prior to departure to England. Still married and have three children and two grandchildren. Worked as an active FAA Air Traffic Controller from June, 1946 (mainly at MPLS Inti.) and instructed at the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City (1958.1959). Transferred to USAF as an ATC consultant in London from 1959 to 1964, then transferred to Ramstein AFB, Germany (1964-1966).

Retired at Scott AFB, Illinois in 1970. Presently employed by the County of San Diego at Gillespie Field, EI Cajon, CA.

Most memorable is as follows: In late July, 1944, while still operating out of Ashford in Kent, 36 of us, armed with two 500 pounders each, went in on a low-level bombing mission to destroy a strategic bridge in Chartres, France. The objective was to destroy the abutment. Being a 2nd Lt., I was tail-end Charlie on the mission. At about 400 knots and level with the bridge, and coming in at 45 °, I had just released my two 500 pounders when I felt like I had suddenly been hit in the head with a baseball bat. Thinking that I had sustained major damages and injuries, I instinctively pulled up and attempted to bailout.

Fortunately for me, the shell which had taken out the left portion of the windscreen on the razorback I was flying, had also jammed the canopy. I pulled the spoiler assist lever with no effect. About: this time, I realized that the JUG was climbing beautifully over Chartres with every "88" blasting away at me. I got the hell out of there and set course for home.

I removed, my helmet, mask, and goggles, and put a bandage over my left eye and forehead from the cockpit first-aid kit. In the process, I lost my communications and, sighting the group, in the distance, attempted to join them. I finally pulled up beside a member of the 22nd FS and he immediately Informed the group leader of my plight.

What a beautiful sight to see the entire group form top cover for me as I was in no condition to enter into an aerial engagement. My benefactor led me in to an RAF beachhead strip while the group set course for Ashford.

After a week in a British Field Hospital, I rejoined the group which had since moved to Ste. Mere Eglise at the base of the Cerbourg peninsula. No hero, to be sure - I was just a scared kid who wanted to get back home in one piece. This resulted in a purple heart the "easy" way.

List of all P47 Pilots:
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Pilot Name Biography Summary
John Abbotts P-47 transition followed at Pocatello, Idaho and Greenville, Texas after which he was assigned to the 56th Fighter Group in England. When the news of his arrival reached Berlin, Hitler retired to his bunker with his cyanide capsule and revolver. Eva found the news equally depressing.
Asa A. Adair He returned to the States in August of 1944 after participating in the invasion "D" Day. He flew P-63's, P-51's, F-80's, T-33's, F-84's, T-38's, P-47's in numerous assignments during the following twenty years in in, Japan, U.S.A. and Europe before retiring after twenty-six years of Active Duty.
Edward B. Addison The 507th Fighter Group, equipped with P-47N's, won the Presidential Unit Citation for destroying 32 Japanese aircraft in the air on one mission to Seoul, Korea. The average flying time for raids to Korea and Japan would be 7 to 9 hours flying time. In a total of 31 months, the 507th not only provided top cover for B-29's, but also dive-bombed, napalm-bombed and flew low-level on strafing missions.
Levon B. Agha-Zarian It is rumored that he, took his primary training on a flying rug. He flew Spits, briefly, in England, but as the, war moved to the East, he was sent to India as a Sgt. Pilot and first saw action from Ceylon, flying the Curtiss P.36, the Brewster Buffalo, and the Hurricane. At this point he might have opted for the rug! This was at the time of the fall of Singapore and the sinking of the Prince of Wales and the Repulse.
George N. Ahles Posted to A-20 light bomber squadron Barksdale Field, Louisiana. . Group moved to Hunter Air Base Savannah, Georgia. Qualified for Pilot training November 1940. Entered Aviation Cadets January 1942. Presented wings November 1942 class of 42-J. Married Mary Louise while in Advanced Pilot Training at Craig AFB, Selma, Alabama, September 1942.
Roy J. Aldritt Shortly after the group moved to France he ran into some unseen flak and was forced to make a nylon descent behind the lines; some evasion and a lot of luck had him back with his unit in 24 hours.
Eugene J. Amaral After graduation from Stonington High School he enlisted as an Aviation Cadet in December 1942 and was called to active duty in March, 1943. He received his wings and commission at Spence Field, Georgia as a member of the Class of 43-C.
Talmadge L. Ambrose Flew 84 missions thru VE Day, was downed by 22mm ground fire over Siefried Line. He destroyed 11 enemy aircraft, 9 known confirmed in air and on ground, including 4 FW 190-D's in one afternoon over Hanover, Germany, April 8, 1945. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, 17 man, Oak Leaf Clusters, Good Conduct Medal, Pacific Theatre and European Theatre Meda1s with 5 Battle Stars and Unit Citation Medal.
John C. Anderson After P-47 transition he was assigned to the 406th Fighter Group, 512th Fighter Squadron. (E.T .0.) He flew 56 missions through January, 1945 destroying supply routes, bridges, and railroads; he also flew close support missions with the ground forces, with attacks on tanks, artillery and enemy positions.
William Anderson It was not always flak,two ME-109's beat the hell out of me one day. The central controller called me and said "Basher-Red Leader do you have contact Bandits," I replied, "I sure do, I'll bring them over the field in 3 minutes, they're chasing me home." Got all the usual medals including two Belgium and two French but one I'm most proud of is the Silver Star -it is the greatest.
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