James Jabara

Flying Ace
Born Oct 10, 1923

James "Jabby" Jabara was the first American jet ace in history. Born in Oklahoma, he lived in Kansas where he enlisted as an aviation cadet at Fort Riley after graduating high school. Jabara attended four flying schools in Texas before he received his pilot's wings and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. During World War II Jabara flew two tours of combat duty in Europe as a North American P-51 Mustang pilot.… Read More

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1923 Birth Born on October 10, 1923.


1942 18 Years Old Jabara joined the Boy Scouts, eventually becoming an Eagle Scout. He worked at his parents' grocery store and graduated from Wichita North High School in Wichita, Kansas in May 1942. … Read More
1943 19 Years Old After attending four flying schools in Texas, he received his pilot's wings and a commission as Second Lieutenant at Moore Field, Texas in October 1943. … Read More


1944 20 Years Old 1 More Event
His first tour lasted from January to October 1944 with the 363d Fighter Group of the Ninth Air Force. … Read More
1945 21 Years Old He returned to Europe again for his second tour from February to December 1945 with the 355th Group of the Eighth Air Force. … Read More
1947 23 Years Old After World War II, Jabara considered leaving the military to attend college, but later decided to attend the Tactical Air School at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. From 1947 to 1949 he was stationed on Okinawa with the 53d Fighter Group.
1948 24 Years Old At Okinawa in 1948, Jabara flew his first jet aircraft, the Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star. … Read More
1950 26 Years Old 1 More Event
On 25 June 1950, North Korean troops crossed the parallel and attacked several key South Korean targets. … Read More
By 2 January 1951, he had flown five combat missions in F-86s and had damaged one MiG-15 Korean jet fighter in air combat.
Upon his request, he returned for another tour of duty overseas, arriving in Korea in January 1953. … Read More


1957 33 Years Old By January 1957 Jabara was at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida to join the 3243rd Test Group to test Lockheed F-104 Starfighters. … Read More
1958 34 Years Old In 1958, Jabara flew combat missions over Taiwan in the F-104 Starfighter.
1960 36 Years Old From July 1960 to June 1961, he attended and graduated from the Air War College in Montgomery, Alabama. … Read More


1964 40 Years Old Jabara also helped train NATO pilots on the F-104 Starfighter in July 1964, when he was stationed at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona and he wrote of the aircraft's significant technological improvement over the F-86 Sabre.
1965 41 Years Old In 1965, Jabara was given command of the 31st Tactical Fighter Wing at Homestead Air Force Base, Florida.
…  In 1966, while on leave from service in Vietnam, Colonel Jabara was traveling with his family in two cars to their new home when his daughter crashed the car she was driving and he was riding in, killing them both. … Read More
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