Robert C. Garland

Picture of Robert GarlandROBERT C. GARLAND, born November 14, 1924 in Chicago, Illinois. Attending Maine Township High School, he lettered in Diving and Golf all 4 years in addition to being the Illinois State Junior Skeet Champion from 1938 to 1941.

He enlisted in The United States Army Cavalry on December 12, 1942 and shortly thereafter transferred to the Army Air Corps. Primary training was in Pine Bluff, Arkansas in PT-19s, Basic Training at Independence, Kansas in BT-14s and he graduated on May 24, 1944 as a 2nd Lt. (class 44-E) from Advanced Flying School at Moore Field, Mission, Texas, flying the AT-6.

Bob then took P-40 transitional training prior to being assigned to a P-47 school at Strother Field, Winfield, Kansas. From there he was transferred to Wendover Army Air Base, Wendover, Utah, where he completed his P-47 Training Program. (Shortly thereafter, Wen- dover was used as the training base for the Hiroshima A-Bomb crew.)

In January, 1945, Garland's group was assigned to the SWPA being first stationed at Nadzab, New Guinea where he flew missions in the P-47, bombing and strafing areas around Lae and Hollandia.

The legendary "Thunder-Jug" was at that time about to be replaced in the Pacific by the P-51. Garland ferried a brand new Mustang, a fighter he had never flown before, 1700 miles from Biak Island, near New Guinea to the Philippines where he joined the 5th Air Force, 348th Fighter Group, 460th Fighter Squadron.

In March of 1945, the war was centered in the mountains north of Manilla and Garland flew a total of 52 ground support missions during that campaign. It was during this period that the 348th received a Presidential Citation for dropping more ton age of bombs in one 30 day period than any other single group up to that time including the heavy bomb groups in the Pacific.

For his personal efforts Garland was awarded the Air Medal with 4 Battle Stars. In August 1945, 1st Lt. Garland was assigned to the 5th Air Force Headquarters on Okinawa and later in Tokyo as the Commanding Officer of the Air-Sea Rescue Group Headquarters. He then returned home where he was separated from the service March 16, 1946.

After graduating in 1949 from the University of Denver, Bob moved into the Radio-TV broadcasting field and was associated with the cowboy movie star, Gene Autry, for 20 years after which he formed his own advertising agency, The Garland Agency, Inc. In 1969, he became the Arizona Franchisee for Far- rell's Ice Cream Parlour Restaurants where he is today the President of Garland Enter- prises.

Garland met Jeanne Adele Lusby while attending the University of Arizona. They were married in 1948 and have 4 children: Susan, Elizabeth, Richard and Robert and three 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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