Gabreski, Francis S.

Nice patriotic TQS on duty and faith signed by the top WW II ETO fighter pilot ace, 1 of 7 aces also in Korean War

Price: $110.00

Description:
(1919-2002) Polish-American pilot, top US fighter ace in Europe during World War II, a jet fighter ace in Korea, career officer in the Air Force with 26+ years service, retiring with the rank of colonel. Although best known for his credited destruction of 34 aircraft in aerial combat and being one of only 7 American combat pilots to become an ace in 2 wars, Gabreski was also one of the Air Force's most accomplished leaders. In addition to commanding 2 fighter squadrons, Gabreski had 6 command tours at group or wing level, including one in combat in Korea, totaling over 11 years of command and 15 overall in operational fighter assignments. After his Air Force career, Gabreski headed the Long Island Rail Road for 2 years before retiring. A fighter pilot at Wheeler Field, Hawaii, he joined several members of his squadron in flying P-36 fighters in an attempt to intercept the attackers, but the Japanese had withdrawn before their reaction. Gabreski followed reports on the Battle of Britain and offered to serve as a liaison officer to the Polish squadrons to learn from their experience. The idea was approved and he left Hawaii for Washington. in September 1942, and received a promotion to captain. In October, he reported to the Eighth Air Force's VIII Fighter Command in England, then was posted to No. 315 (Deblin) Squadron at RAF Northolt in January 1943. Gabreski flew the new Supermarine Spitfire Mark IX in 20 missions with the Poles, engaging in combat once. On February 27, 1943, he became part of the 56th Fighter Group, flying the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, and quickly became a flight leader and was promoted to major. On November 26, 1943, Gabreski recorded his fourth and fifth kills to become an ace. his victory total steadily climbed through the winter of 1943-44. By March 27, he had earned 18 victory credits and had six multiple-kill missions to rank third in the "ace race" within VIII Fighter Command. In April, the 56th FG moved to RAF Boxted and Gabreski was promoted to lieutenant colonel. On May 22, Gabreski shot down 3 Fw 190s and on July 5, 1944, became America's leading ace in the ETO, matching the total at the time of confirmed victories of the Pacific Theatre's top American ace, Richard Bong. On July 20, 1944, he was forced to crash land, eluded capture for 5 days, but was eventually captured and sent to Stalag Luft I. He was liberated when Soviet forces seized the camp in April 1945. Following his repatriation, he became Chief of Fighter Test Section at Wright Field, Ohio. In April 1946, he left the service, worked for Douglas Aircraft for a year, then was recalled to active duty in April 1947, later becoming commander of the 56th Fighter Group, now flying F-80 Shooting Stars at Selfridge Air Force Base, Michigan. While in command of the 56th, he oversaw conversion of the unit to F-86 Sabres and was promoted to colonel on March 11, 1950. He flew in combat again during the Korean War. On July 8, 1951, flying his 5th mission in an F-86, Gabreski shot down a MiG 15, followed by MiG kills on September 2 and October 2. Gabreski was transferred to K-13 (Suwon) Air Base with most of the former 56th FIW pilots who came with him to Korea, and took command November 6, 1951. Gabreski himself scored 3 more kills to become a jet ace. On his return to the US Gabreski received the key to the city of San Francisco and was given a ticker-tape parade up Market Street on June 17. His 6 MiG-15 kill credits make him one of 7US pilots to become an ace in more than one war and was officially credited with 123 combat missions in Korea, totaling 289 for his career. His Air Force career continued for another 15 years, and retired on November 1, 1967. Suffolk County Air Force Base in Westhampton Beach, New York, which became Suffolk County Airport in 1969, was renamed Francis S. Gabreski Airport in 1991 and the New York Air National Guard installation there was renamed Francis S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base. In 1978, he was enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame. Following his retirement from the Air Force, Gabreski worked for Grumman Aerospace until August 1978. He was asked by New York Governor Hugh Carey to serve as president of the financially stressed, state-owned Long Island Rail Road in an attempt to improve the commuter line. He resigned February 26, 1981. Good content 11 x 8 1/2 TQS, np, nd, titled in type at top: "Col. Francis S. Gabreski, USAF (Ret.)/Top Ace in the ETO/34 1/2 Victories/[signed]. Likely from "Gabby: A Fighter Pilot's Life", written with Carl Molesworth (1992), reading: "When everything you do is contributing to the good of the nation, that's duty. Duty is your job, performance and allegiance to your country - to your flag and to your way of life. We're not on this earth to fight wars, but when it's necessary, you do it for your country. Faith is another part of a person. You have to believe in your fellow man, and you have to believe in something over and above that fellow man ...you can't believe in nothing and still live a full life." Gabreski pens "God Bless!" in his hand at bottom.

Condition: Very good
Type:Typed Quotation Signed






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