Charles T. Gagel

Picture of Charles Gagel CHARLES T. GAGEL, born December 18, 1922 in Louisville, Kentucky. Attended the University of Louisville before and after WW II, with a major in Mechanical Engineering.

He enlisted as an Aviation Cadet in October 1942 and after being called to duty, graduated in the class of 44-E at Aloe Field, Victoria, Texas. After training in the P-47 at Harding Field, Baton Rouge, La., he reported for overseas duty in the Southwest Pacific Theatre.

Typically routine for the Air Corps, after all that training in the P-47 , his first combat mission was flown in the P-51 out of New Guinea. He was assigned to the 360th Service Group, 5th Air Force and then assigned to the 58th Fighter Group, 311th Fighter Squadron, 5th Air Force where he remained in the P-47 until returning to the States.

He flew 67 combat missions from New Guinea, through the Philippines and on to Okinawa from which point the 58th hit the southern coast of Japan doing escort and ground attack missions. After the second Atomic bomb was dropped at Nagasaki, and the Japanese surrender, he was sent home in January 1946. Other than the usual medals, he received the Air Medal with one cluster.

He was separated from service as a First Lieutenant. He married Marian Weir in 1942 and has two children, Charles and Marsha (Shryock), both married. Each of these marriages provided him with two grandchildren for a total of four, Gina, Scott, Zachary and Patrick.

He has spent his business career in mechanical design and manufacturing management of industrial refuse handling equipment and at present is Vice President of TRI-PAK SYSTEMS COMPANY in Louisville, Kentucky where he has been for the past fifteen years.

He is a Certified Manufacturing Engineer, member of the Order of the Moose- Masonic Order, Toastmasters International, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, a Kentucky Colonel and of course the P-47 Fighter Pilots Association.

His hobbies include Golf, Fishing, Hunting, Boating, Wild Turkey Whiskey Decanter Collecting, and Gun Collecting.

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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