Robert D. Sharp

Picture of Robert Sharp ROBERT D. (BOB) SHARP, born May 13, 1923 (Mother's Day) in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was led into the WW II economy in 1942 when he worked as a sheet metal mechanic at Hill Field, Utah. Bob enlisted in the AAF and was moved into the Aviation Cadet Program in February 1943, to graduate March 12, 1944, in Class 44-C, Luke Field, Arizona.

Though not interested in airplanes as a youth, Bob finally discovered the joy of flying when he strapped into the cockpit of the "Jug" at Harding Field, Louisiana. This joy continued through P-51's, F-80's, T-33's, and the F-86. The "old gosport" was hung up in 1956. He is presently a Lt. Col. in the AF Retired Reserve.

During WW II Bob was assigned to the 368th Fighter Group, 397th Fighter Squadron. He was overseas from June '44 to June '45, logging 78 combat missions, 211 combat "Jug" hours, and being awarded the DFC (wasn't everyone?), the Air Medal with ten clusters, and First Lieutenant bars for the inconvenience.

Soon after the "Late Great Hate" (1945), Bob enrolled at the University of Utah. He eventually acquired a B.S. degree in Eudcation (physics) and taught school for a year. He later acquired a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering and, in June of 1954, moved to California to work for the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation - Flight Test Division.

Bob is presently the editor of Lockheed's TriStar Service Digest magazine.

In early 1947, Sharp joined the newly formed Utah Air National Guard. The 191st Fighter Squadron at Salt Lake Municipal was the greatest flying club imaginable. Bob picked up over 1100 flying hours in the F-51D and F-51H in the most enjoyable flying circumstances one could hope for. Called to active duty with the 191st during the Korean thing, Bob spent 21 months flying around the USA (thank God).

Having flown a few hours in the F -86 while in Utah, Bob was able to transfer to the California Air National Guard in Van Nuys, joining the P-86 equipped 115th Fighter Squadron. He flew with the 115th for two years. Bob married Jackie Devereaux of Salt Lake in 1946. They have three children (Carrie, David, and Kelly) and seven grandchildren.

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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