COLONEL FRANCIS S. "GABBY" GABRESKI - AUTOGRAPH CO-SIGNED BY: COLONEL MORTON D. MAGOFFIN, LT. COLONEL JOSEPH T. MCKEON - HFSID 224346
PEARL HARBOR AVIATORS: FRANCIS S. GABBY GABRESKI, MORTON D. MAGOFFIN,
JOSEPH T. MCKEON
Signatures of the Pearl Harbor soldiers who went on to become Air Force Aces during the war.
Signatures: "Francis S. 'Gabby' Gabreski", "Mort D. Magoffin" and "Joseph T. McKeon", 1p, 8½x11. Headed: "Future Aces Who Were Serving At/Pearl Harbor/December 7th, 1941". FRANCIS S. "GABBY" GABRESKI (1919-2002) ranks as the all-time top U.S. Army Air Force ace. He was one of only seven USAF pilots who was an ace in both WWII and the Korean War. Beginning his career flying sorties against the Japanese at Pearl Harbor, the Polish-speaking pilot started to fly Spitfires in January 1943 with the 315 (Polish) Squadron of the RAF. After a few weeks, Gabreski was assigned to Zemke's 56th Fighter Group, flying P-47 Thunderbolts without seeing any action until August 24, 1943, when he scored his first victory. From then on, he downed 28 enemy aircraft, leading all pilots in the European theatre. After 193 missions, the Air Force was ready to send him home but, shortly before boarding the plane, he discovered that a mission was set for that morning. On July 20, 1944, Gabreski crash-landed during a strafing sortie and hid out for five days. Although he persuaded a Polish-speaking forced laborer to bring food and water, Gabreski was captured and imprisoned in Stalag Luft I, a German POW camp for the remaining eight months of the war. He returned to military service in the Korean War and shot down six MIG 15s. He was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross, a Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, a Bronze Star, the Air Medal and awards from the French and Polish governments. World War II ace MAGOFFIN (1916-2007) was at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, but he had to transfer to the European Theatre to get a combat command (the 362nd Fighter Group) and five kills. On July 14, 1944, Magoffin strafed a Duesenberg with motorcycle escorts and forced its passengers into a ditch. That was the day German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel was seriously wounded in a strafing attack, although the British subsequently claimed credit for the attack on "the Desert Fox." Assigned to the 15th Pursuit Group in Hawaii, JOSEPHY T. MCKEON (b.1916) arrived at base two weeks before the attack on Pearl Harbor. He was transferred to the 35th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group in the Southwest Pacific in 1942 where he scored his first victory on the anniversary of Pearl Harbor. He had five other victories before the end of the war, becoming an ace by 1944. While flying his 40th mission from England, he was captured by the Germans after bailing out to avoid death in a midair collision over Gaibow. He was a POW until being released in May of 1945. Following the war he continued to serve in the US military until his retirement as lieutenant colonel in 1963. Light surface creases. Slightly soiled. Otherwise, fine condition.
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