James Jabara
American flying ace
James Jabara
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.
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LakePoint Assisted Living partners, pilot take over Jabara flight school - Wichita Business Journal
Google News - over 5 years
James Jabara Airport see immediate opportunities for growth. In May, LakePoint Assisted Living partners Kevin Unrein and Warner Harrison, and flight instructor Matt Bell, bought the flight school, which was previously operated by Midwest Corporate
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Wichita Flight Festival schedule announced - Bizjournals.com
Google News - over 5 years
James Jabara Airport, K-96 and Webb. Daytime activities are free. Admission to Saturday night's air show and concert costs $5. The theme for the two-day festival is “Fun of Flight.” It will feature air acts from around the nation, a kid's zone,
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B-24 Bomber - Kansas.com
Google News - over 5 years
The plane is at Colonel James Jabara Airport through Wednesday as part of The Wings of Freedom tour. (Video by Jaime Green/The Wichita Eagle, Kansas.com) July 12, 2011 All users: If you have not already done so, Click "Record a Comment" to begin
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Plane tour at Jabara airport offers a ride through history - Kansas.com
Google News - over 5 years
The event will take place today through Wednesday at Colonel James Jabara Airport. "It really engages people in a way that you can't get in a classroom setting," Chaney said. "You're interacting with history." This event is aimed at honoring WWII
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Dow High graduate named Air Force squadron commander - Midland Daily News
Google News - over 5 years
He has received many major awards and decorations, including the Colonel James Jabara Award and Europe Fighter Pilot of the Year in 2006. He also received the AIR Cecil G. Foster award from the top F-16 weapons school instructor in 2008
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Kennedy: Saving pucks to saving lives - The Hockey News
Google News - over 5 years
Polidor was recently given the Colonel James Jabara Award for Airmanship, an exclusive prize that has also gone to Vietnam heroes, astronauts and Chesley Sullenberger, the pilot in the famous Hudson River landing in 2009. Polidor was flying an F-15E
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Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of James Jabara
  • 1966
    Age 42
    He flew his first mission in July 1966, joining a F-100 Super Sabre flight group for a bombing run that damaged several buildings held by the Viet Cong in South Vietnam.
    More Details Hide Details He returned on leave to Homestead about a week after the mission.
    By 1966 Jabara had risen to the rank of colonel—the youngest at that rank at the time, and he volunteered to fly combat missions for the Vietnam War.
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    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.
    More Details Hide Details They were buried together at Arlington National Cemetery. In recognition of his contributions to military aviation, an airport outside of Wichita, Kansas was named in his honor. Each year the United States Air Force Academy alumni association bestows the Jabara Award upon an Academy graduate whose aerospace accomplishments demonstrate superior performance. Jabara was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma, of Lebanese descent; his father, John, and mother came from Marjayoun, a town in Southern Lebanon.
  • 1965
    Age 41
    In 1965, Jabara was given command of the 31st Tactical Fighter Wing at Homestead Air Force Base, Florida.
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  • 1964
    Age 40
    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.
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  • 1960
    Age 36
    From July 1960 to June 1961, he attended and graduated from the Air War College in Montgomery, Alabama.
    More Details Hide Details At Carswell Air Force Base, Texas, Jabara piloted the first supersonic bomber, the Convair B-58 Hustler as part of the 43d Bomb Wing.
  • 1958
    Age 34
    In 1958, Jabara flew combat missions over Taiwan in the F-104 Starfighter.
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  • 1957
    Age 33
    By January 1957 Jabara was at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida to join the 3243rd Test Group to test Lockheed F-104 Starfighters.
    More Details Hide Details He was first reassigned to Headquarters of the 32d Air Division at Syracuse, New York, then assumed command of the 337th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron at Westover Air Force Base, Massachusetts.
  • 1953
    Age 29
    Jabara returned to the United States in July 1953, and was assigned as commander of the 4750th Training Squadron at Yuma Air Force Base (later renamed Vincent AFB), Arizona.
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    On 16 May 1953 he recorded his seventh victory, and on 26 May he shot down two additional MiGs for a total of nine for the war.
    More Details Hide Details On 10 June, Jabara shot down two more MiGs. Eight days later his flight group encountered four MiGs, and he encountered mechanical problems that nearly caused his aircraft to crash into an elevated hill. After resolving his aircraft's issues, he returned to the battle and was able to shoot down an already damaged MiG. On 30 June, his first of two missions for the day resulted in one MiG victory. The second mission involved escorting F-86 Sabre fighter-bombers and he shot down a MiG before he came under heavy fire by other MiGs. In an attempt to evade their attack, he quickly accelerated but his engine flamed out. He maneuvered his aircraft for the ocean for a potential water rescue if he crashed, but he was able to restart the engine and return to base. Jabara recorded his final victory on 15 July. Two days later he flew his last two missions, and although he was eager to find more MiGs in an attempt to tie or surpass Joseph C. McConnell's 16 air victories, he did not see any opposing aircraft. His 15 victories gave him the title of "triple ace", and his Korean War victories were all against MiG-15s. He received a Silver Star, an Oak Leaf Cluster for his Distinguished Service Cross, as well as another Distinguished Flying Cross for his additional air victories. During the Korean War, Jabara was second in American air victories to McConnell, who recorded 16.
    Upon his request, he returned for another tour of duty overseas, arriving in Korea in January 1953.
    More Details Hide Details By then a major, on his second tour, Jabara was credited with shooting down nine more MiGs for a total of 15 victories.
  • 1951
    Age 27
    Jabara returned to the United States in May 1951 for temporary assignment to Air Force Headquarters, Washington, D.C. Two months later he was transferred to the Air Training Command at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois.
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    Jabara achieved his first confirmed victory on 3 April 1951 when 12 F-86 Sabres took on 12 MiG-15s in MiG Alley, a region in northwestern North Korea.
    More Details Hide Details He was credited with another on 10 April, a third on 12 April, and a fourth on 22 April. Eager to get his fifth victory to be deemed a flying ace, Jabara voluntarily transferred to the 335th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron when the 334th was rotated back to the United States. On 20 May, two flights of F-86 Sabres encountered multiple MiG-15s in MiG Alley, and through radio communications, two additional flights of F-86 Sabres joined the battle, including Jabara. In preparation for the oncoming battle, Jabara and the other F-86 Sabre pilots were ordered to jettison their auxiliary fuel tanks to improve their maneuverability. Jabara's fuel tank failed to separate from his wing, and protocol required he return to base as the aircraft would be impeded by the extra weight and imbalance, and limit his potential to match off with a MiG. However, Jabara decided to continue to the air battle, where he was able to still handle his aircraft well enough to be credited with shooting down two MiG-15s with .50 caliber machine gun fire. The first was in a group of three MiGs and the other was the last in a six-plane group. Jabara was able to see the first aircraft explode from his gunfire, but he only saw his second victory go into a tailspin as he was avoiding being targeted by another MiG. His fifth and sixth victories made Jabara the first American in history to use jet aircraft to become an ace.
    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.
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  • 1950
    Age 26
    Jabara arrived in Korea on 13 December 1950 with the 334th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron of the 4th Fighter-Interceptor Wing.
    More Details Hide Details The squadron was the first F-86 Sabre unit deployed to the Fifth Air Force to counter the threat by the Soviet MiG-15s.
    On 25 June 1950, North Korean troops crossed the parallel and attacked several key South Korean targets.
    More Details Hide Details As the United States prepared military assistance with the South Koreans, the Soviet Union also helped the North Koreans by training pilots and providing MiG-15 aircraft.
  • 1948
    Age 24
    At Okinawa in 1948, Jabara flew his first jet aircraft, the Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star.
    More Details Hide Details Reflecting on the transition to jet aircraft, he said "It was entirely different. I was at 10,000 feet before I remembered to raise my landing gear. It was so quiet and fast. I guess that was probably the happiest moment of my life." 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 North American F-86 Sabre jet fighter at the New Castle County Airport in Delaware. Before the start of the Korean War, the Korean Peninsula was split by an American-backed government at the south and a Soviet-backed opposing government at the north. Divided by the 38th Parallel, both the United States and the Soviet Union agreed to maintain the division until a mutual decision was made about the future of the peninsula.
  • 1947
    Age 23
    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.
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  • 1945
    Age 21
    He returned to Europe again for his second tour from February to December 1945 with the 355th Group of the Eighth Air Force.
    More Details Hide Details During his European combat (and known then as "the Ceegar Kid" for his penchant for smoking cigars), Jabara flew 108 combat missions. He was credited with the destruction of one and a half German aircraft in aerial combat (the half considered shared with another pilot) and four on the ground. He received a Distinguished Flying Cross with one Oak Leaf Cluster for his 1.5 victories as well as an Air Medal with 18 Oak Leaf Clusters.
  • 1944
    Age 20
    In a March 1944 mission while Jabara was escorting bombers to Germany, a German pilot shot off his canopy.
    More Details Hide Details Although he faced below freezing temperatures at the high altitude, he was able to shoot down a German aircraft before returning to base. During one mission, while in formation, he and another P-51 pilot collided in midair. They both safely bailed out while the aircraft were destroyed. In another incident, while Jabara engaged a German aircraft, they collided in mid-air, and when both pilots safely floated to the ground, they met and shook hands. When Jabara's first tour ended, he returned to the United States as an instructor for other pilots.
    His first tour lasted from January to October 1944 with the 363d Fighter Group of the Ninth Air Force.
    More Details Hide Details On his first mission he was assigned to attacking German railroad targets in Belgium.
  • 1943
    Age 19
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Jabara with his wife, Nina, had four children: James William (b. 1949), Carol Ann (b. 1950), Cathy (b. 1952), and Jeanne (b. 1957). During World War II, the Allied forces fought German aircraft across the European Theater. The Allies used several fighter aircraft, including the North American P-51 Mustang. Jabara was assigned to two tours of combat duty as a P-51 pilot across Europe.
  • 1942
    Age 18
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Standing five feet, five inches (165 cm) tall, Jabara was short for a potential fighter pilot (and was reportedly required to wear corrective eyewear), but this did not prevent him from immediately enlisting as an aviation cadet of the United States Army Air Corps at Fort Riley, Kansas. In an attempt to improve his eyesight for flying, he ate 20 carrots a day in the mistaken belief that this would improve his vision.
  • 1923
    Born on October 10, 1923.
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