|Lieutenant General Carlos M. Talbott, USAF (Retired)|
Next, I should comment that when I spent the better part of the summer (age 13) of '56 staying with my first cousin (my Mother's age--she was 20 yrs younger than the rest of her siblings) Lt Gen Carlos M. Talbott (then an O-6) when he was Wing Co of an F-100 Fighter Day Group at Foster AFB, Victoria, TX, Maurice and his boss, then Maj Gen Henry Viccellio were invited to a Fourth of July BBQ at this Texas Senators ranch and I was in the Maurices' station-wagon (with the General driving) in the backseat with Maurice's kids -- the wives following in another car) taking in all the "shop-talk" during the several hour drive. Maj Gen Viccellio (a giant of a Texan, who still had pox-mark scars from the pre-depression era when small-pox vaccinations were not yet wide-spread) ) was the P-38 Wing Commander who planned the mission and hand-picked the pilots who shot Yamamoto down. Talk about being in the presence of history! And to further add to the history tale, the Senator whose ranch we were invited to was LBJ's ranch! Little did I know when I shook his hand as a 13-yr-old that he would be the President ordering me off to war a decade later!Yeah, how cool is that? Virgil didn't just make history as a Phantom driver in Vietnam, he witnessed quite a bit as a lad as well!
So the other day Virgil's cousin popped up again in the comments:
That aerial refueling shot you are showing is of F-100s--one from each of the three squadrons--from my 1st cousins (Lt Gen Carlos M. Talbott, Lt Gen, USAF Ret, Vice-Cmdr of PACAF) 322nd Fighter Day Group when he was a 32 yr-old O-6 Commander at Foster AFB, Victoria, TX circa 55/56. (He won the Bendix Air Race in '55 flying good ole FW-777) He won the race (elapsed time--no air refueling then) deciding to land w.o deploying the chute (as repacking the chute took about 45 min) and risking burning up the breaks, putting him out of the race for good. His gamble & skill paid off and he not only won via elapsed time but was first over the field at Philadelphia.So by now I realize that via the "power" of the web of world-wideness, I can look up Lt Gen Talbott. So I did.
PS: He was obviously then in such favor (later to fall out of favor--didn't get his first star until he took the 366th TFW to Vietnam in 65) that his unit was the FIRST in the Air Force to be equipped with the brand new Century series fighter.
He died 26 Feb 2015 at age 95.
What an impressive guy.
First of all, he flew missions in World War II, flying the P-47 "Jug" as a member of the 397th Fighter Squadron of the 368th Fighter Group in the European Theater of Operations (ETO).
From the 397th's website:
Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross and the Purple Heart. Two Me-109 kills. A pretty impressive record. And that's just his early years!
In his official Air Force biography there is this:
He is a command pilot, has flown more than 4,500 hours, and during World War II flew 96 combat missions. His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Cross; Distinguished Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters; Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster; Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster; Air Medal with 15 oak leaf clusters; Air Force Commendation Medal; Purple Heart; Golden Cross of the Royal Order of Phoenix (Greece); Korean Medal of Merit; from the Republic of Vietnam the National Order of Vietnam, 5th Class, Armed Forces Honor Medal, Air Force Distinguished Service Order, 2nd Class; Order of Cloud and Banner, Republic of China; and Air Force Wings of Turkey, China and Republic of Vietnam.So make that two Distinguished Flying Crosses.
Oh and that F-100, FW-777, that Virgil mentioned? She's here...
52-5777 North American F-100A-5-NA Super Sabre 5777 (MSN 192-22) registration N1453 reserved 1972, NTU. Noted in 1990 on display at Hill AFB Museum, Utah. (Source)I actually found a picture of the old girl -
|F-100A Super Sabre, S/N 52-5777, Buzz Number FW-777, at Ogden, Utah (S0urce)|
Great website by the way, I need to spend more time there.
Sadly, Lt Gen Talbott passed away in February of this year. His obituary in the Washington Post started with:
Folded his wings, at 95 years of age, on Thursday, February 26, 2015 in Arlington, VA. (Source)Now that's one of the men who built the Air Force that I served in.
God Speed Sir, I'll stop by next time I visit Arlington and I'll bring a nickel.