Charles E. McCreary

Picture of Charles McCreary CHARLES E. McCREARY, born Dec. 29, 19?? on a farm about ten miles west of Chillicothe, Mo. Attended grade school in "one-room" (in which grades one thru eight were taught) schools in Sampsel Township prior to graduating from Chillicothe High School.

Started higher education endeavors at Rolla School of Mines & Univ. of Mo. Ran out of finances, as was rather common in the thirties, and switched to Chillicothe Business College where he completed a course in Accounting and Business. Worked at the Chillicothe State Bank as a Teller and Asst. Cashier until accepting work with the fiscal div.of the Dept. of Ordnance in Washington, D.C., where he attended night classes Strayer College of Business and George Washington University.

After Pearl Harbor joined the U.S. Army Air Corps and, after various assignments, was accepted as an Aviation Cadet in 1942. Graduated as a Fighter Pilot from the Southeast Training Command and completed Operational Training at Sarasota, Fla. where he was appointed as an Instructor and was able to check-out in various aircraft, including the P-40, P-39, P-38, P-51, P-47, SBD Dauntless, TBF Avenger, SB2C Helldiver, F4U Corsair, etc.

Was assigned to Randolph Field for Instrument Training and received an Instrument Rating. After return to Sarasota, departed for the Mediterranean Theater of Operations where he was assigned to the "FIRST IN THE BLUE" 57th Group, 66th Fighter Squadron.

During the course of 100 + missions, survived the Purple Heart with a few Clusters and was awarded the Air Medal with Clusters, the DFC w /Cluster and the Silver Star. During tour thru Italy, Corsica, and back to Italy was able to check-out in B-25 and Hand Price's Spitfire. Still feel the JUG was the most rugged and dependable Fighter ever built.

Started from Italy for duty in the Far East but, the end of WW II resulted in a diversion to the States. Released from active duty after starting work with California Wire Cloth Corp. in Dec. 1945. Continued flying thru participation in the Reserve. Worked Cal Wire Cloth & Colo. Fuel & Iron Corp. till Jan. 1969 when retirement was attempted after serving as Chief Accountant - promoted to Asst. Secy., Asst. Treas. and finally Controller.

Attended night classes at Univ. of Calif. to, after 18 long years, earn that coveted "sheep-skin" during this period. The stress of inactivity was "too much" so started to work again as Controller with Mechanical Equipment Co. in New Orleans, La. Retired from MECO in 1979 but, according to my wife, I'm only semi-retarded to date.

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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