Frank S. Perego

Picture of Frank Perego FRANK S. PEREGO, born June 15, 1916 in Canandaiqua, N.Y., graduated University of Rochester with B.A. Degree in 1937. Worked as salesman for Hallmark Greeting Cards prior to appointment as Flying Cadet in Class 41.G. Commissioned 2nd Lt. Sept. 1941, assigned 36th Pursuit Group, Puerto Rico.

Transferred to Trinidad after Dec. 7 and became C.O. 22nd Ftr. Sqdn. in 1942. Returned to U.S. in June 1943; joined 368th Ftr. Group as Gp. Ops. officer. Group assigned 9th Ftr. Command England Dec. 1943. Perego promoted to Dep. Group C.O. and became C.O. 368th in Sept. 1944.

Flew 115 combat missions in P-47. Two E/A unconfirmed air-to-air, one E/A destroyed on ground. Group received Presidential citation for destroying over 500 vehicles in one day.

Decorations include DFC with bronze cluster; Legion of Merit; Air Medal with 18 Oak leaf clusters; French Croix de Guerre; British DFC.

Promoted Colonel March 1945. Returned to U.S. Dec. 1945, assigned to original cadre of Tactical Air Command until assuming command of 1st Ftr. Group in Nov. 1947 at March AFB flying the first jets in the Air Force until June 1950.

Became Deputy Operations 9th Air Force until assigned to Korea in April 1952 as Asst. Dep. Operations 5th Air Force. Became C.O. 18th Ftr. Wing June 1952-June 1953. Flew 70 missions F-51 's and F-86F's. Graduated from Air War College June 1954 and assigned to Pentagon as Chief Tactical Requirements Division Hqs. USAF. Resigned regular Colonel commission in June 1956 to enter private industry.

Became Director Program Planning General Dynamics Corp. from June 1956-Sept. 1961 in New York City. Joined Raytheon Co. as Western Regional Manager, Defense Products in Los Angeles until March 1964 when he joined Northrop Corporation. Was Vice President Marketing Aircraft Division and later Corporate Vice President Domestic Marketing. Resigned June 1971 to start ice cream and pizza franchises. Currently is General Partner owning small Sizzler Family steakhouse chain in North Central California.

Married Jane Anderson in 1946 and had three children - Dianne, Todd and Melinda. Jane and Todd deceased in 1967 and 1970. Currently married to Judith Black and residing in Pleasanton, California.

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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