Laurence C. Parfitt

Picture of Larry Parfitt LAURENCE C.PARFITT LARRY enlisted in the Army Air Corps in December 1942. He completed pilot training and was commissioned a 2nd Lt. at Craig Field Ala. bama at the age of 19 in June 1944. He served during WW II as an instructor in the BT-13.

Discharged in 1945, he new with the Reserve in Mississippi (AT-11, T-6 and P-51) then the Maryland Air National Guard (T-.6, P-47) and later with the Georgia Air National Guard (T-6,P-47,and F-80). As a civilian, Larry also attended college, worked as a flight instructor, crop dusting pilot and radio announcer.

Recalled to active duty in 1950, he flew 100 fighter-bomber missions in the F-80 with the 51st Fighter Wing in Korea. Later, with various ADC fighter squadrons in the CONUS he new the T-28, T-33, F-86D, E, F and L. In 1954, on duty with the US Navy's famous VF -11 "Red Rippers," he accumulated 91 carrier landings in the F2H4 Banshee aboard the USS Coral Sea.

Again with the 51st Fighter Wing, from 1958.1961 on Okinawa, he new the T-33, F-86D and F-102. After returning to the CONUS he new the T-33 and T-39 at AndrewsAFB while on duty with HQ USAF. He served as Senior Duty Officer with 7th AF HQ in Vietnam in 1968-1969 in support of the air war.

Back in the CONUS he was a T-39 IP and FE while serving as Chief, Operations and Training Division, 1st Composite Wing, Andrews AFB.

Larry completed Squadron Officers School, Command and Staff College, Advanced Survival School and Jet Gunnery Instructors School. Additionally he received his BS degree from Syracuse University in 1958 under the AFIT Program and his MS degree from George Washington University in 1971 under Project Boot Strap.

Larry was medically retired in 1976 and underwent triple coronary bypass surgery in 1977. He currently works as a consultant for a technical and professional placement service in Virginia. His hobbies are fishing, whitewater rafting and building and flying radio controlled model airplanes. He is married to the former Jane Vance of Sycamore, Georgia. They have four sons.

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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