Michael J. Jackson

Picture of Mike Jackson MICHAEL J. JACKSON volunteered for flying training in 1941 and graduated from Kelly Field with the class of 42C as a second lieutenant. Following assignment as an instructor pilot at Randolph Field he was transferred to Stewart Field, United States Military Academy, West Point. He was one of fifty in the original cadre of instructors to teach basic, advanced and fighter training to West Point cadets. With the graduation of the first class with wings in June of 1943, Lieutenant Jackson volunteered for combat duty. Assigned to the 407th Fighter Bomber Group, he flew A-36's, P-51's and P-47's.

The following year he joined the 56th Fighter Group, European Theatre of Operations, England and became Operations Officer of the 62nd Fighter Squadron flying P-47's. In the course of progressing from wing man to flight leader, then to Squadron and Group lead positions, Major Jackson was credited with destroying 8 enemy aircraft in the air, damaging another two, destroying 6 aircraft on the ground and damaging 3, for a total of 14 enemy aircraft destroyed and 5 damaged.

Returning to the United States in 1945 as a Squadron Commander, Richmond Air Base, Major Jackson was then made a Provisional Group Commander of a Fighter Demonstration Unit, 24th Fighter Squadron, First Air Force, putting on fighter demonstration techniques for occupational forces.

Upon discharge from the Army Air Corps in January 1946, Major Jackson continued in assignments with the Air Force Reserve and 108th Fighter Wing, ANG. Later in returning to the Air Force Reserve in assignments with MAC and TAC he retired as a Brigadier General in September of 1975 completing 34 years of service. His last assignment was Mobilization Assistant to the Commander 9th Air Force, Tactical Air Command. He is a Command Pilot with over 4,000 hours flying time.

His awards and decorations include: Silver Star; Distinguished Flying Cross with 1 oak leaf cluster; Meritorious Service Medal with 1 oak leaf cluster; Air Medal with 15 oak leaf clusters; Purple Heart; American Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; European Theatre of Operational Medal with 5 Battle Stars; Presidential Unit Citation with 1 oak leaf cluster; Armed Forces Reserve Medal (Air Force); Air Force Longevity Service Award; Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Medal; and Vietnam Service Medal.

General Jackson attended Pace University, N.Y.C., Air War College (Abbreviated Course), Industrial War College, ECI, Tactical Warfare Center, TAC.

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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