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Author Topic: James Jabara - First US Jet Fighter Ace  (Read 7741 times)


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« on: 8 July 2009, 10:53:31 »



James "Jabby" Jabara (October 10, 1923 - November 17, 1966) He was the first American jet ace in history. Jabara is credited with 15 victories over MiG-15 jets in Korea, one below the tally of Joseph C. McConnell, although Jabara's 1.5 victories in World War II bring his career total to 16.5 victories. He was the second-highest-scoring U.S. ace of the Korean War.

Jabara was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma. He was of Lebanese American descent; his parents came from Marjayoun, Lebanon. He graduated from Wichita North High School in Wichita, Kansas, in May 1942. At five feet, five inches (165 cm) tall, he was short for a potential fighter pilot (and reportedly required to wear corrective eyewear) but this did not prevent him from immediately enlisting as an Aviation Cadet at Fort Riley, Kansas. After attending four flying schools in Texas, he received his pilot's wings and a commission as Second Lieutenant in October 1943, at Moore Field, Texas.

Capt. James A. Jabara / Location: Korea (South) / Date taken: May 1951 / Photographer:   Joseph Scherschel

During World War II, Jabara flew two tours of combat duty in Europe as a P-51 Mustang pilot, the first with the 363rd Fighter Group of the Ninth Air Force from January to October 1944, and the second with the 355th Group of the Eighth Air Force from February to December 1945. During his European combat, and known then as “the Ceegar Kid,” (for his penchant to smoke cigars) he flew 108 combat missions and was credited with the destruction of one-and-a-half enemy planes in aerial combat and four on the ground.

Pilot Capt. James A. Jabara (R) talking to ground crew / Location:   Korea (South) / Date taken: May 1951 / Photographer: Joseph Scherschel

After World War II, Jabara attended the Tactical Air School at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, and from 1947 to 1949 was stationed on Okinawa with the 53rd Fighter Group. Jabara returned to the United States and was assigned as a flight commander, now at the rank of captain, with the 4th Fighter-Interceptor Wing, flying the newly operational F-86 Sabre jet fighter at the New Castle (Delaware) County Airport.

source: http://www.markstyling.com/f86s_4_01.htm

Jabara arrived in Korea on December 13, 1950 with the 4th Fighter-Interceptor Wing, which was the first F-86 unit deployed to the Fifth Air Force to counter the threat by the Soviet MiG-15. By January 2, 1951, he had flown five combat missions in F-86s and had damaged one MiG-15 enemy jet fighter in air combat.

He achieved his first confirmed "kill" on April 3, 1951. He was credited with another on April 10, a third on April 12, a fourth on April 22 and his fifth and sixth on May 20, making him the first American jet ace in History. All his victories were against MiG-15s.

A recent study made by the Russian historian Leonid Krylov state however, that Jabaro did not make ace on May 20 1951. In fact, by the end of his first Korean war tour (he would return in 1953) he had actually shot down only four MiG-15s.

    * April 3 1951: his prey was the jet of Starshiy Leitenant P. D. Nikitchenko (176th GIAP), who was killed in action.
    * April 10 1951: no actual loss occurred that day.
    * April 12 1951: Jabara shot-up the MiG of Starshiy Leitenant Fiodor A. Yakovlev (196th IAP), which was written off after landing.
    * April 22 1951: his victim was Yevgeny N. Samusin, who ejected and was recovered shortly afterwards.
    * May 20 1951: the date of his fifth and sixth claims. Only Jabara's first claim become an actual kill - the MiG of Starshiy Leitenant Viktor A. Nazarkin (a F-80C and a B-29A to his credit), who bailed out safe and sound. Jabara indeed damaged the second MiG, but this limped back to Antung and was repaired shortly afterwards.

At that time he was proclaimed as the first ace of the Korean War and First Jet-vs-Jet Ace, now we know that such honor correspond to Soviet ace Sergei Kramarenko. The May 20 mission was his sixty-third Korean mission of an eventual 163; he was to have two other two years when he was to claim the shootdown two planes and would become a triple ace.

He won a Distinguished Service Cross for his heroics that day (the nation's second highest decoration), but he would later add a silver star and oak leaf cluster to that for repeat performances. Against his wishes, he received a stateside leave for a publicity tour. The family Jabara grocery store on Murdock Street in Wichita was thronged with people for days and both he and his father John Jabara would appear on local and national radio and television. Wichita would mount one of its most-attended parades in the city's history. Jabara was even sent on a good-will tour of his father's homeland and gave a speech in his father's hometown of Marjayoun. Films of his plane in Korea were on every movie newsreel, and he had offers to spend a week in Hollywood and a week in South America all expenses paid. The Cigar Institute of America sent him a case of cigars and his wife Nina received promotional packages with cigarette lighters and perfume. Other accolades at the time were a song (“That Jabara Bird”) and a ritual rewarding of his Distinguished Service Cross at a baseball game in Boston.

Jabara returned to the United States in May, 1951, for temporary assignment to Air Force Headquarters, Washington, D.C. and two months later was transferred to the Air Training Command at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. Upon his request, he returned for another tour of duty overseas, arriving in Korea in January 1953. Now a major, on his second tour, he shot down nine more MiGs for a total of 15.

Jabara returned to the United States in July 1953 and was assigned as commander of the 4750th Training Squadron at Yuma Air Force Base, Arizona. He was then reassigned to Headquarters of the 32nd Air Division, Syracuse, New York. He then assumed command of the 337th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, Westover Air Force Base, Massachusetts.

By 1966, Jabara had risen to the rank of Colonel (the youngest at that rank at the time) and was to command the 31st Tactical Fighter Wing at Homestead AFB, Florida. Jabara was widely rumored to be on the brink of promotion to general when he and his teenage daughter Carol Anne died in a car accident in Florida on November 17, 1966, just as he was preparing to deploy the 31st Wing for his first tour in the Vietnam War.

The Jabara family were in two cars that day on their way to a new home in South Carolina where his wife Nina and their children, James Jr., Carol Anne, Jeanne and Cathy would wait out Jabara's planned combat tour of Viet Nam. Carol Anne was driving a Volkswagen with her father as a passenger in Delray Beach, Florida. She lost control of the car going through a construction zone and it rolled several times. James Jabara was pronounced dead on arrival at the Delray hospital and Carol Anne died two days later. The two were buried together in a single grave at Arlington National Cemetery. His grandson Lt Nicholas Jabara was killed in a T-37 accident on Jan 31, 2002. Lt Nicholas Jabara graduated from The United States Air Force Academy in 2001.

The Colonel James Jabara Airport outside of Wichita, Kansas, was named after him. Each year, the United States Air Force Academy alumni association awards the Jabara Award, named after Colonel Jabara, to the Academy graduate whose accomplishments demonstrate superior performance in fields directly involved with aerospace vehicles.

Awards and decorations
During World War II, Colonel Jabara was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with one Oak Leaf Cluster and the Air Medal with 18 Oak Leaf Clusters. While in Korea, he received the Distinguished Service Cross with one Oak Leaf Cluster and an Oak leaf Cluster to the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Distinguished Flying Cross

Air medal

Distinguished Service Cross with one Oak Leaf Cluster


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« Reply #1 on: 8 July 2009, 12:21:02 »

Colonel James Jabara Airport (ICAO: KAAO, FAA LID: AAO) is a public airport located nine miles (14 km) northeast of the central business district of Wichita, a city in Sedgwick County, Kansas, United States. It is named in honor of World War II and Korean War flying ace James Jabara.

Although most U.S. airports use the same three-letter location identifier for the FAA and IATA, Colonel James Jabara Airport is assigned AAO by the FAA but has no designation from the IATA (which assigned AAO to Anaco, Venezuela). The airport's ICAO identifier is KAAO.

Colonel James Jabara Airport covers an area of 600 acres (243 ha) which contains one runway and one helipad:

    * Runway 18/36: 6,101 x 100 ft (1,860 x 30 m), Surface: Concrete
    * Helipad H1: 50 x 50 ft (15 x 15 m), Surface: Concrete

For 12-month period ending May 31, 2006, the airport had 38,300 aircraft operations, an average of 104 per day: 97% general aviation and 3% air taxi. There are 108 aircraft based at this airport: 60% single engine, 28% multi-engine, 9% jet aircraft, 1% helicopters, 1% ultralights and 1% military.



FAA Identifier:    AAO
Lat/Long:    37-44-51.3000N / 097-13-16.0000W
37-44.855000N / 097-13.266667W
37.7475833 / -97.2211111
Elevation:    1421 ft. / 433.1 m (surveyed)
Variation:    06E (2000)
From city:    9 miles NE of WICHITA, KS
Time zone:    UTC -5 (UTC -6 during Standard Time)
Zip code:    67226

Airport Operations
Airport use:    Open to the public
Activation date:    07/1944
Sectional chart:    WICHITA
Control tower:    no
NOTAMs facility:    AAO (NOTAM-D service available)
Attendance:    CONTINUOUS
Pattern altitude:    2221 ft. MSL
Wind indicator:    lighted
Segmented circle:    yes
Lights:    DUSK-DAWN
Beacon:    white-green (lighted land airport)

Airport Communications
CTAF/UNICOM:    122.7
WX ASOS:    134.025 (316-636-2541)
WX ASOS at ICT (12 nm SW):    PHONE 316-945-8022
WX AWOS-3 at EWK (19 nm N):    123.875 (316-283-8789)
Nearby radio navigation aids
VOR radial/distance        VOR name        Freq        Var
ICTr083/17.2      WICHITA VORTAC      113.80      07E
HUTr105/36.9      HUTCHINSON VOR/DME      116.80      09E

NDB name        Hdg/Dist        Freq        Var        ID
NEWTON      167/19.2      281      06E      EWK    . .-- -.-
EL DORADO      259/19.3      383      05E      EQA    . --.- .-
WELLINGTON      011/26.7      414      07E      EGT    . --. -

Airport Services
Fuel available:    100LL JET-A
Parking:    hangars and tiedowns
Airframe service:    MAJOR
Powerplant service:    MAJOR
Bottled oxygen:    NONE
Bulk oxygen:    NONE

Runway Information

Runway 18/36
Dimensions:    6101 x 100 ft. / 1860 x 30 m
Surface:    concrete/grooved, in good condition
Weight bearing capacity:    
Single wheel:    40.0
Double wheel:    62.0
Runway edge lights:    medium intensity
   RUNWAY 18        RUNWAY 36
Latitude:    37-45.353383N      37-44.355423N
Longitude:    097-13.191737W      097-13.342418W
Elevation:    1401.2 ft.      1420.8 ft.
Traffic pattern:    right      left
Runway heading:    181 magnetic, 187 true      001 magnetic, 007 true
Markings:    precision, in good condition      nonprecision, in good condition
Visual slope indicator:    4-light PAPI on left (3.00 degrees glide path)      4-light PAPI on left (3.00 degrees glide path)
Approach lights:    MALSR: 1,400 foot medium intensity approach lighting system with runway alignment indicator lights      
Runway end identifier lights:    no      yes
Touchdown point:    yes, no lights      yes, no lights
Instrument approach:    ILS/DME
Helipad H1
Dimensions:    50 x 50 ft. / 15 x 15 m
Surface:    concrete, in good condition
Runway edge lights:    PERI
Traffic pattern:    left      left

Airport Ownership and Management from official FAA records
Ownership:    Publicly-owned
Phone 316-946-4700
Manager:    VICTOR WHITE
Phone 316-946-4700
Airport Operational Statistics
Aircraft based on the field:       90
Single engine airplanes:       54
Multi engine airplanes:       24
Jet airplanes:       10
Ultralights:       1
Military aircraft:       1
Aircraft operations: avg 105/day *
50%    transient general aviation
47%    local general aviation
3%    air taxi
* for 12-month period ending 13 May 2008
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« Reply #2 on: 8 July 2009, 12:44:32 »

thx for sharing,


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