Wayne S. Dodds

Picture of Wayne Dodds WAYNE S. DODDS, born March 29, 1916 near Cedar Rapids, Iowa, graduated Iowa State University with a Chemical Engineering Degree in 1940. His professional career began at Merck and Co. working on the development of penicillin and other pharamaceuticals.

After Pearl Harbor, he enlisted as an Aviation Cadet in 1942 and trained in class of 43-I, graduating and commissioned at Mission, Texas, First assignment 6th Air Force Panama Canal defense forces, flying P-39's and P-40's. Returned to U.S. with 29th Fighter Squadron equipped with P-51's and assigned 3rd Air Force.

Mid 1944, Dodds transferred to Mediterranean Theater and assigned to the 57th Fighter Group, 66th Fighter Squadron. The 57th was committed to "Operation Strangle," cutting off of supplies to enemy forces in Italy. He flew 105 missions through VE Day destroying supply routes, ammunition depots, bridges, railroads, tunnels, close support attacks on tanks and artillery.

He was downed by 20 mm ground fire on the 54th mission and required 31 days to maneuver through enemy lines to friendly territory.

He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart, and Air Medal with 6 Clusters.

Released from active duty July 20, 1945, as a Captain he returned to a scientific career. As Director of the Engineering Laboratory at Northwestern University (where he earned his Ph.D.) Dodds was involved with the purification of the air of Nuclear Submarines.

As Engineering Research Manager at General Foods, he guided the development of Tang, Dream Whip, Maxim Freeze Dried Coffee, and other food concepts. With five others in 1962, a science research company was formed, with Dodds serving as president from 1963 through 1974. Creating and developing companies around product concepts has since been his field of activity.

Charter member of the P-47 Thunderbolt Pilots Association, he was Vice President from 1976 to 1978 and President from 1978 to 1980. He married Shirley West in 1949 and has three children, Sam, Kathy, and Debra.

List of all p51 Pilots:
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Pilot Name Biography Summary
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
William T. Beckler In July, 1944 Beckler exchanged his P-40 for a P-47N Thunderbolt. Missions in the Jug covered Northern Italy and Southern France. These included escorting medium bombers. The Bombers, based in Southern Italy, would be escorted to France by Thunderbolts based on Corsica. Shortly before target the Jugs would pull ahead of the bombers and bomb the enemy gun positions. Beckler's activities while participation in three major campaigns earned him the DFC, two Air Medals and two Presidential citations.
Herbert R. Benson After training in P-47 Thunderbolts at bases in North Carolina, Virginia, and Delaware, he was assigned to the European Theatre of operations and joined the 48th Fighter Group 493rd Fighter Squadron at St. Trond, Belgium. After flying 44 combat missions, he was awarded the Air Medal with 4 Oak Leaf clusters.
Marvin C. Bigelow Training in the Southeast Training Command with the class of 44C, he graduated and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant single engine pilot at Marianna, Florida with the class of 44D. After checking out in the P-40 at Marianna, he transitioned in the P-47 in the Northeast Defense Command and after gunnery at Dover, Delaware was shipped on the Queen Mary to England.
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