P47 Pilots Biographies, Last Name Starting With "B"
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Pilot Name Biography Summary
Earl R. Backus Was called to active duty Feb. 1943 and finished Pilot Training in Class of 44C at Luke Field, Phoenix, Arizona. After graduation was assigned Bruning, Neb. and transition in P47's. Remained as Instructor until assigned to 507th Fighter Group, 465tb Squadron. After training, was sent to Ie Shima where he flew 10 missions until the end of the war.
W.B. 'Tex' Badger Eight and Ninth Air Force in WWII. B-l7's, P-51's and P-47's. Fifth Air Force in Korea, F80's and F86's. WWII and Korea, Flew 156 missions. Tactical units served in with the USAAF and USAF were: 305th BG , 368th Fighter Group, 4th Fighter Group, 49th Fighter Group, 12th Fighter Wing, 506th Fighter Wing.
Robert T. (Bob) Bagby He trained in P47's at Cross City and Dale Mabry Fields, Florida and then joined the 341st FS Black Jack Squadron), 348th FG of the 5th AF in Brisbane, Australia in June 1943. Bob flew 78 combat missions in New Guinea (Port Moresby, Finchafen, Sador, Wakde and Biak) primarily as wingman to squadron CO's John Campbell and John Moore. Also privileged to fly wing to Neil Kirby on several occasions.
James K. Bain He flew 100 missions in P-47's beginning at Thruxton, England, transferred to Strip 1 near Omaha Beach on D+6. Nearly all missions were ground support, destroying bridges, railroads, supply routes, storage depots, tunnels and close support to Allied forces destroying tanks, weapons, and supplies.
Frank Baker After brief stops at Stone and Atcham, England he joined the 313th Fighter Squadron of the 50th Fighter Group in France. He flew 90 missions through V.E. Day. Most of the missions were close support attacks on various ground targets with a few B-26 escort missions thrown in. All of the missions took place in eastern France and southern Germany. He was awarded the Air Medal with 11 oak leaf clusters.
John M. Balason To relieve the boredom, Balason went down on the deck and blew up a locomotive he had observed at altitude. A few seconds after making his strafing pass he received a hit in his left wing tank and a fire started immediately in the cockpit. The paralyzing effect of the intense heat made climbing out of the cockpit impossible.
Paul Bangiola He enlisted as an aviation cadet in the United States Army Air Corps, June 30, 1942. He commenced training with the class of 431, and graduated with the class of 43J, from Spence Field, Moultrie, Georgia. After operational training through the Third Air Force in Perry, Florida, he was transferred overseas and joined the 57th Fighter Group, 66th Fighter Squadron, Naples, Italy, whereupon he participated in the transfer of the group from Naples to Corsica, and the commencement of "Operation Strangle."
Albert W. Barlow, Jr. He flew 69 escort and ground support missions. Destroyed one E/A (ME-I09). Was shot down on Sept. 8, 1944, and evaded enemy ground forces for 8 days. Was picked up by an American Recon. Unit behind the German lines. Was hospitalized until Feb. 1948, when he was medically retired with the rank of Capt. Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, and Purple Heart.
Joseph C. Bates Shortly thereafter transferred to Field Service Div. under Erwin Hoenes, as a Tech Rep, working with Ed Bigelow, George Dade and many other great guys, to provide pilots transferring to the P-47 from trainers, flying hours, instructing crew chiefs and airforce personnel on use and maintenance of P-47 (there are no bad airplanes, only bad maintenance!).
Walter C. Beckham Tried for Air Corps flying school. Flunked physical. Too skinny. Tried again. Still too skinny. - but lost height (bend the knee) and made it. No college work. So three very hard days of "mental" exams. "Graduated in class of 41I.
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