James Michael Vande Hey

James Vande Hey was a figher pilot, his first duty being with the 15th Pursuit Group at Wheeler Field, Hawaii where he was stationed on December 7, 1941. His 7th AIr Force time spanned over four years in combat across the Pacific  Midway Island, the Canton and Baker Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Gilbert Islands, Guam, Saipan, and Iwo Jima. While flying the P-40, P-47, P-70 and P-51 fighters, he served as a flight commander and squadron operations officer in the 45th Fighter Squadron, and commanded the 78th Fighter Squadron, known as the Bushmasters. He flew 262 combat missions, amassed 615 combat hours, and destroyed four enemy aircraft in air-to-air combat. On April 7, 1945, he culminated his tour in the Pacific by leading the first fighter squadron over Tokyo while escorting B-29 bombers. He twice earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, was awarded the Bronze Star, and received the Air Medal four times. After almost 32 years of service, Officer Vande Hey retired as a brigadier general, USAF







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