Francis "gabby" Gabreski, Wwii Flying Ace Signed Color Photo, Famed Colonel Usaf For Sale
FRANCIS "GABBY" GABRESKI, WWII FLYING ACE & KOREAN WAR VETERAN.Signed 5" x 7" color photograph of Gabreski in his plane showing "kill" count on the side of his plane with 31 confirmedNazi Warplanes Shotdown. Signed in black ink on the top corner "Francis S. Gabreski, Col. USAF". Signed just after the end of World War II. COLOR PHOTOGRAPH 5" wideX 7" tallor 12.7, 17.8cm - EXCELLENT CONDITION
Information here is borrowed with much thanks from Wikipedia --- Francis Stanley "Gabby" Gabreski (1919 – 2002) was the top American fighter ace in Europe during World War II, a jet fighter ace in Korea, and a career officer in the United States Air Force with more than 26 years service.
Although best known for his credited destruction of 34½ aircraft in aerial combat and being one of only seven U.S. combat pilots to become an ace in two wars, Gabreski was also one of the Air Force's most accomplished leaders. In addition to commanding two fighter squadrons, Gabreski had six command tours at group or wing level, including one in combat in Korea, totalling over 11 years of command and 15 overall in operational fighter assignments.
In 1938, during his first year at Notre Dame, Gabreski developed an interest in flying. He took lessons in a Taylor Cub and accumulated six hours of flight time. However, his autobiography indicates he struggled to fly smoothly and did not solo, having been advised by his instructor Homer Stockert that he didn't "have the touch to be a pilot".
At the start of his second year at Notre Dame, Nazi Germany invaded Poland, angering him and re-kindling his interest in flying. Gabreski enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps, volunteering as an aviation cadet. After his induction into the U.S. Army at Pittsburgh, Gabreski undertook primary flight training at Parks Air College, near East St. Louis, Illinois, flying the Stearman PT-17. He advanced to basic flight training at Gunter Army Air Base, Alabama, in the Vultee BT-13, and completed advanced training at Maxwell Field, Alabama, in the North American AT-6 Texan. Gabreski earned his wings and his commission as a second lieutenant in the Air Corps in March 1941, then sailed for Hawaii aboard the SSWashington to his first assignment. And so began his amazing military career.
Colonel Gabreski was a decorated fighter pilot and commanderin World War II and the Korean War.
During his 26 year military career, Gabreski'sawards included:
Distinguished Service Cross
Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star (2)
Legion of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross (13)
Bronze Star Medal
Air Medal (5)
Cross of Valor (Poland)
Distinguished Service Cross citationMajor Francis S. Gabreski U.S. Army Air Forces Date of Award: November 26, 1943 Headquarters: U.S. Strategic Forces in Europe, General Orders No. 25 (1944)
The President of the United States of America, under the provisions of the Act of Congress approved July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Francis S. Gabreski (0-406131), Major (Air Corps), U.S. Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as pilot of a P-47 fighter airplane in the 61st Fighter Squadron, 56th Fighter Group, Eighth Air Force, in aerial combat against enemy forces on November 26, 1943, in the European Theater of Operations. On this date Major Gabreski shot down two enemy aircraft, bringing his total to this point in the war to more than 30 victories. Major Gabreski's unquestionable valor in aerial combat is in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, the Eighth Air Force, and the United States Army Air Forces.
Gabreski was officially credited with 123 combat missions in Korea, totaling 289 for his career. While he flew many F-86s in combat, his assigned aircraft was F-86E-10-NA 51-2740, nicknamed "Gabby".
Gabreski retired on November 1, 1967. Per his USAF official biography, he retired with more than 5,000 flying hours, 4,000 of them in jets. Suffolk County Air Force Base in Westhampton Beach, New York, was renamed Francis S. Gabreski Airport in 1991. The collocated New York Air National Guard installation at the airport was also renamed Francis S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base. In 1978, he was enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame.
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