91 years old
from Melbourne, FL
August 22, 1921 – October 31, 2012
“...Frederick Corbin “Boots” Blesse (August 22, 1921 – October 31, 2012) was a retired American Air Force major general and flying ace. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors on March 22, 2013, officially ‘flying west’. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1945. He flew two combat tours during the Korean War, completing 67 missions in F-51s, 35 missions in F-80s and 121 missions in F-86s. During the second tour in F-86s, he was officially credited with shooting down nine MiG-15s and one La-9.
At the time of his return to the United States in October 1952, he was America’s leading jet ace.
General Blesse remained with fighter aircraft for practically his entire military career. During the 1955 Air Force Worldwide Gunnery Championship, he won all six trophies offered for individual performance, a feat never equaled. During the Vietnam War, he served two tours in Southeast Asia; while on his first tour in 1967-1968, he flew 156 combat missions.
In December 1952 General Blesse went to Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, where he served as a jet fighter gunnery instructor, squadron operations officer and squadron commander. He was a member of the Air Training Command Fighter Gunnery Team in 1954 and 1955. Both years this team won the Air Force Worldwide Fighter Gunnery Championship. During the 1955 gunnery meet, General Blesse, flying an F-86F aircraft, won all six trophies offered for individual performance, a feat that has never been equaled.
During this tour of duty, General Blesse wrote his fighter tactics book, No Guts, No Glory. This book has been used as a basis of fighter combat operations for the Royal Air Force, the U.S. Marine Corps, Chinese Nationalist, Korean Air Force[disambiguation needed], and U.S. Air Force since 1955. As recently as 1973, 3,000 copies were reproduced and sent to tactical units in the field….”
“...His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal; Silver Star with two oak leaf clusters; Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster; Distinguished Flying Cross with five oak leaf clusters; Bronze Star with “V” device; Air Medal with 20 oak leaf clusters; Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster; Army Commendation Medal; Purple Heart; and from the Republic of Vietnam the Cross of Gallantry; Vietnam Honor Medal, 3d Class; and the Honor Medal, 5th Class.
He is a command pilot with more than 6,500 flying hours, most of which have been in fighter aircraft including the P-40, P-47, P-51 Mustang, P-80, F-86, F-100, F-102, A-7, F-104, F-106, F-4, and F-111. He has more than 650 hours combat flying and is the nation’s sixth ranking jet ace….”
These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.
Those Who Say That We’re In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don’t Know Where To Look
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