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Author Topic: Reminiscences II: 80th FG pilot Robert Gale  (Read 7743 times)
Mark Joyce
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« on: August 29, 2011, 09:49:36 AM »

Robert Gale was born in Winters, CA, in 1921 and earned his wings in August, 1942, Class 42-H.  He was ultimately assigned to 88th FS/90th FG, the famed "Burma Banshees," where he flew a P-40N initially out of Assam, India.  He flew 160 missions in the P-40, during which he was credited with two confirmed victories (for details of these victories, see Carl Molesworth's excellent book by Osprey, "P-40 Warhawk Aces of the CBI").  Once the 80th FG transitioned to the P-47, Robert Gale flew an additional 22 missions before rotating home.  He resigned from the service as a captain in 1947, at which time he began a long and successful career as a contractor.  Here are a couple of memories regarding the P-40 that he shared with me:

"When the 88th FS first moved to Myitkyina (Burma) the Japanese were just beyond the airfield, and we had what was referred to as a '1000 yard perimeter of defense.'  One of my missions was to knock out a bridge in the town.  It was a solo mission, and I believe I was carrying a 500 pound bomb.  I got that bridge, which so close to the airfield it was in the traffic pattern.  The whole mission lasted six minutes.  I was written up in 'Stars & Stripes' for flying the shortest mission!"

"I preferred the P-40 over the P-47 for our type of work (mainly ground support) because it was more maneuverable, which was an important factor due to the mountainous terrain we had to bomb and strafe.  At the time we transitioned (to the P-47) I was flight commander and kept the P-40 as long as I could.  I was the last in the squadron to give it up."

« Last Edit: August 29, 2011, 09:51:43 AM by Mark Joyce » Logged

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