Edward F. Roddy
EDWARD F. RODDY, born 29 June
1919 in Cleveland, Ohio, the last of five
children to Cornelius and Mary Roddy" Commissioned and rated pilot in December 1941 (41-I) he joined the 56th Pursuit Group on
the East Coast.
Flying P-36s, P-38s, and
P-47s, he went to the 80th Group and
overseas with the 348th Group, later joining
the 58th Group which he commanded for the
last nine months of WWII. He flew 225
combat missions and ran his P-47 time to
over 1500 hours while flying in New Guinea
(Port Moresby, Dobodura, Finschafen,
Saidor, Noemfor), the Phillipines (Mindoro,
Mangalden, Porac), and Okinawa (Yontan,
He was credited with eight
confirmed enemy aircraft destroyed (airborne) and many more on the ground. Just
prior to the invasion of Luzon, he managed to
get airborne during a red alert at dawn with
one wingman (C. Andress). Although
delayed to provide base defense cover until
the assigned P38s were airborne, they headed
for Clark Field where they caught a row of
new Georges (4-bladed prop) refueling.
two high-speed strafing passes they set some
ten or twelve on fire. Two more jugs arrived
and tried to help out. Both were shot down
(Kindred ~ fatal, Atkinson ~ evaded and
escaped some three weeks later).
tours included Korea combat (F-51s and
B-26s), Pentagon (Requirements), Air
Defense (F-86Ds, F-104s, and F-102s), TAC
(F-100s in France and England), and Japan
(F-51s, B-26s, C-46s).
While leading sixteen jugs from Okinawa
to Kyushu at 8,000 feet, he witnessed the
second A-Bomb detonation (Nagasaki) from
approximately 225 miles away. Intelligence
personnel woke him at midnight to secure
more details after they confirmed that it had
happened. He said it looked like a tangerine
on the horizon, and that he thought it was an
ammunition ship that had been blown up, but
as the cloud began to rise, and he jotted down
the bearings, he realized that it was a long
long way off, and a lot bigger than it first
He married Marie Callahan (Worcester,
Mass.) in 1946 and they have five sons, two
daughters, and two grandchildren. He retired
in February 1970 as a colonel with 30 years
service. He completed his university degree
at California State University, Fresno where
he is currently employed as the Environmental Health and Occupational Safety Director.
He still flies, often as the official campus pilot
for the university.
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.
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.