J. Alfred Gill

Picture of J. Alfred Gill J. ALFRED GILL, born April 4, 1912 at Pittsburgh, Pa. After two years of college at Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh work for family advertising business in sales. Moving, on my own, to California in 1940 in advertising. Was accepted into the USAAC as an Aviation Cadet at the Presidio of Monterrey, Calif. in Feb. 1942 for pilot training in the West Coast Training Command, Class of 43E.

Graduated from Luke Air Base, Phoenix, Ariz. May 1943. Was assigned to Westover Air Base, Mass. for training in P-47, then assigned to the 362 Fighter Group, 379th Squadron for OTU.

From here the group was transferred to Wormingsford England in Oct. 1943, 8th Air Force. Then in March 1944 assigned to the 9th Air Force. Left the 362nd Group August 1944 and assigned to the 100th Fighter Wing in France. While overseas met and married present wife Joan Arnold Gill, from the Royal Air Force in Oct. 1944.

Flew over 600 hrs. combat while in the ETO in P-47, P-51, C-47. Was awarded the Air Medal with Four Oak Leaf Clusters, two Presidential Unit Citations, European African Middle Eastern Ribbon with Four Bronze Stars and Air Defense of Europe, Normandy, Northern France and Germany.

Returned to the USA in March 1945. Assigned to Shaw Air Force Base, S.C. April 1945 training new pilots in combat tactic in P-47 , until release from active duty in September 1945, and returned to Pittsburgh, Pa.

Operated an air service out of Allegheny County Airport, Pittsburgh, Pa. with a JRC-l Cessna until 1951. Was president of Aviation Sales Inc., distributors of Aero Commander Aireraft in Eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania until 1961. Went with the Lear Jet Corp. as sales rep. for Canada promoting the Lear Jet Aircraft until 1965. From this date until the present have been involved in real estate development and sales.

Was instrumental in the forming of the 146th Fighter Squadron in Pittsburgh, Pa. for the Pennsylvania Air National in 1946. Flying P-47, P-51, T-33, F-86, and F-84F until 1955, retiring as major. Joined the P-47 Thunderbolt Pilots Assn. as a life member in 1963. Presently living with wife Joan at Cobham Woods, Cabot, Pa. and four children, Jennifer, Joe, Tony and Janet.

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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