Retired Col. Clarence E. “Bud” Anderson, a 100-year-old World Conflict II flying ace, acquired an honorary promotion to brigadier common by Air Power Chief of Employees Gen. CQ Brown in a ceremony Friday on the Aerospace Museum of California.
A flying or fighter ace is a army aviator credited with capturing down 5 or extra enemy plane in fight. Anderson, the very best scoring American air ace alive, is one among 14 dwelling aces out of 1,447 acknowledged with the excellence by the American Fighter Aces Association, based on an Air Power launch.
In an interview with Army Instances, Anderson stated it was “fairly particular” for the Air Power chief to come back to swear him in.
“He’s type of a wrecking ball of a man,” Brown stated throughout the ceremony, referencing Anderson’s profession and repair file.
“You had a reasonably thick binder, and I used to be going by it and a few of the print was light … but it surely was actually good to have an opportunity simply to learn by and for me, personally, to mirror on the historical past of our Air Power and the influence you’ve had on our historical past.”
The promotion caps off an eventful yr for the retired Air Power officer, who celebrated his one hundredth birthday in January.
Born in 1922 in Oakland, California, Anderson enlisted within the Military’s Aviation Cadet Program in January 1942 and was commissioned at Luke Subject, Arizona, that September, based on a Department of Veterans Affairs release.
Between November 1943 and January 1945, Anderson flew 116 fight missions with the 357th Fighter Group, also referred to as “Yoxford Boys,” the discharge stated. In that point, the group destroyed over 600 enemy plane and produced 42 aces, together with Anderson, who earned his triple ace title for destroying greater than 16 enemy plane.
Anderson named his fighters, together with his P-51 Mustang, “Previous Crow.”
“I inform my non-drinking associates it’s named after essentially the most clever fowl that flies within the sky, however my consuming buddies realize it’s named after that good ‘ole Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey,” a smirking Anderson informed Army Instances.
The dwelling legend’s army profession continued, nevertheless, effectively after World Conflict II.
After returning to the U.S., Anderson grew to become an Air Power take a look at pilot earlier than becoming a member of the Pentagon as a complicated analysis and growth planner after which because the director of operational necessities. The aviator additionally hung out as commander of an F-86 fighter squadron in post-war Korea, based on an Air Force release.
Anderson’s final project earlier than retiring as a colonel in March 1972 got here throughout the Vietnam Conflict, when he commanded the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing. Throughout that tour, the aviator flew the F-105 Thunderchief in bombing strikes in opposition to enemy provide traces in Southeast Asia, the VA launch stated.
For his service, Anderson was awarded with two Legion of Deserves, 5 Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Bronze Star, 16 Air Medals, the French Legion of Honor, and the French Croix de Guerre, the Air Power launch stated.
After retiring from the service, Anderson joined McDonnell Plane Firm and in 1990 co-authored “To Fly and Struggle: Recollections of a Triple Ace” about his service.
“It’s fairly an honor to be an American Airmen, though in my day the group had a special title,” Anderson stated in a past Air Force release.
“Whatever the title, the values stay and the mission stays the identical — to fly, combat and win.”
Initially revealed by Military Times, our sister publication.