Henry Chick

Picture of Henry Chick HENRY CHICK, born January 31, 1923 in Kansas City, Missouri. A graduate of Central High School in June of 1940. Attended Kansas City Junior College and enlisted in the Signal Corps September 7, 1942. Transferred to Aviation Cadet training, arriving for Pre-flight training at Santa Ana, California, Christmas Eve of 1942.

Completed Primary at Santa Maria, California, Basic at Chico, California and Advanced at Stockton, California. Class 43-J, receiving wings Nov. 3rd, 1943. Instructed twin-engine Basic at Lemoore, California until April,1944. Re-assigned for B-17 transition and sent to Lincoln, Nebraska.

Applied for fighters, under the weight waiver, and was assigned to P-47 transition and RTU, Harding Field, Baton Rouge, Louisiana in June of 1944. Following Harding Field training, was assigned to 5th Air Force and left December of 1944 from Camp Stoneman, Pittsburgh, California enroute to SWPA.

Arrived Nadzab, New Guinea for additional RTU In January 1945. Assign - 35th Fighter Group, 39th Fighter Squadron as replacement pilot flying razorbacks and bubbles. All combat missions in P-47's were flown from forward airstrips in the Philippines. These consisted of patrols, ground-support missions and five long-range missions to Formosa, one of which was 8 hours.

The 39th was assigned P-51D's in April, 1945 and Chick's last mission in a P-47 was April 2nd, covering a B-25 strike on Takao, Formosa, from Mangalden, Luzon. The move to P-51 's was not without mixed feelings. The time spent in the Jug resulted in a great confidence in the airplane, and a loyalty not easy to transfer to the "tin-whistle."

The P-51 has its good points, and many of them, so it was.

The 39th moved to Linguayen Gulf, Luzon, Clark Field and Okinawa in July. During a fighter sweep to Kyushu, Japan, Chick was hit by ground fire and made a forced landing on Tokuna Island in the Ryukyu chain, while returning to base in Okinawa. Destroying the radios and IFF Chick made it safely to the reef and was picked up by a shore party from a Navy destroyer and taken to a PBY (OA-10) and returned to Machinata airstrip, his home base, on Okinawa.

Following official surrender the 39th was assigned to Irrumagawa Air Field (later Johnson Field) Japan and arrived there October 13, 1945 having been delayed by the infamous typhoon of October 8th.

Returning to the States in November, 1945, Chick was released from active duty in January, 1946.

He enrolled in Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge in June of 1947 and graduated with a Forestry degree in June of 1951. He maintained an active participation in the Reserves until 1958.

From September of 1951 until March of 1958 Chick was a flight instructor for Graham Aviation, a civilian primary flight training contractor for the Air Force.

Moving to Arizona in 1958, Chick has been in the field of public education since 1960, and is presently teaching in the Paradise Valley School District in Phoenix.

Chick married Aimee Arbios, whom he met at Stockton, California while in advanced flight training. They celebrated their 36th anniversary in May 1980. They have children, Russell, Bill and Jim. As of 1980 there are three grandchildren, Shelby Ann, Christopher and Donald Eric.

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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