KEMAL SAIED, born November 22,1919, in Healdton, Oklahoma. Attended
Classen High School, Oklahoma City; and University of Oklahoma. Enlisted in the
Army Air Corps in August, 1941. After attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant in 1942, he applied for Aviation Cadet training and
graduated with Class 43-J at Luke Field,
Saied was sent to flight instructor's school
at Randolph Field, Texas, then to Minter
Field, California, to instruct in Basic Training. After five months instructing in BT-13s he requested combat duty in P-47s and was
assigned to the 508th Fighter Squadron of
the 404th Fighter Group at St. Trond, Belgium.
The 404th FG's principal assignments
were support for the ground forces in Belgium and Germany, distinguishing itself with the Presidential Unit Citation, and being
honored by being awarded the Belgique
Fouregerre by the Belgian government.
Saied had accumulated 62 missions when
the hostilities ceased in Europe, during
which he was awarded the Distinguished
Flying Cross, the Purple Heart and Air Medal
with seven clusters.
Number 7 J-U, my P-47D, proved more
than once that it was a tough bird. It was such
an occasion during the Battle of the Bulge
that I renewed my love for Number 7 J-U.
Capt. Elton B. Long was leading the 508th
Fighter Squadron of the 404th Fighter
Group and I was flying element leader for his
flight. The primary target that day was a
tower setting atop a dam which held back the
waters of a reservoir deep in Germany. The
tower was being used as an observation post
and was apparently very important to the
When we arrived at our destination we
could see barrage balloons tethered by their
steel cables over the target just daring us to go
beneath them. We followed the leader to drop
our bombs on the target being careful not to
get lower than the balloons. After one bomb
run and three strafing passes, the ack-ack was
so light that we fell into game-playing to see
if we could deflate some balloons. They were
apparently self-sealing and filled with non-explosive gas, but we were having fun.
Elton could see that precious fuel was
being wasted on this nonsense, so he called his
squadron to rendezvous and head back to the
barn. With each pass I made, I felt confident
that the next one would be the one which
would set the world on fire. I didn't want to
believe what I already knew: that the balloons
were filled with a non-inflammable gas and
would not blow up. When Elton called for a
rendezvous I called back, "Elton, let me
make one last pass! I think I can get one!"
While the squadron was rendezvousing I
was circling for my one last pass and was on
my run when my plane suddenly shuddered
and started into a snap roll, and I had to fight
to keep it from spiraling into the ground.
Looking at the left wing I found that it had
got a direct hit underneath, knocking open
the ammunition door which was located on
the top of the wing and hinged from the back.
The wind finished ripping it all the way off,
leaving a gaping hole with three belts of fifty
caliber shells trailing out of it.
Luckily, my control cables were not severed, but the airspeed and rate-of-climb indicators were knocked out. After trimming the
plane as much as I could I managed to limp
back on my wing man's wing.
All's well that ends well, they say, but
many is the time since that day that I hear my
own words ringing in my ears, "Let me make
one last pass!" It could have been.
My love affair with the P-47 began long
before this date but the events of this day
confirmed my belief that the P-47 Thunderbolt, the "Jug," is the toughest airplane built
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.
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.