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Major John W. Leonard, Commanding Officer of the 405th Fighter Squadron, pictured here in 1944, was a well-regarded combat leader in the 371st Fighter Group and led missions to help the Lost Battalion.  Unfortunately, he was fatally wounded in a dogfight with German fighters near Worms, Germany, in January, 1945.  His older brother William was a distinguished Navy fighter pilot and ace in the Pacific. Source: (Courtesy Mr. Jürg Herzig, Stand Where They Fought website, used with permission)   
Like something you would see in the movies
Down came the rain. And it rained and it rained and it poured. It was miserable weather for flying for man and fowl alike ... in fact, there wasn't much of any flying going on.So it was at Dole/Tavaux Airfield, also known as Advanced Landing Ground Y-7, in France in late October 1944 where elements of the 371st Fighter Group hunkered down and
0 10/29
Pilot and mission commander U.S. Air Force Maj. Troy Bockius, combat systems officer (CSO) Maj. Roy Shoppert, pilot Lt. Col. J.D. Davis (background), pilot 1st Lt. Chris Farrell and CSO 1st Lt. Alex Sutherland, all from the 142nd Airlift Squadron, 166th Airlift Wing, Delaware Air National Guard at a mission planning meeting for a two-ship C-130H formation and airdrop mission on Oct. 22, 2014 at the New Castle ANG Base, Del. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Benjamin Matwey)
Becoming a C-130 pilot or combat systems officer in the Air National Guard
Do you want to learn how to become an air crew member aboard the Air Force C-130 Hercules cargo transport aircraft, the "workhorse of the Air Force," to serve your state and nation?You can explore the qualifications, selection process, and training for the pilot and combat systems officer, two of the four air crew positions of the C-130 flown by
0 10/29
Missouri Air National Guard Senior Master Sgt. Sheldon G. Matthews serves as the 131st Bomb Wing first sergeant for wing staff at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri.  Matthews was recently the first responder to a serious car accident October 11, 2014.  “I credit everything I did and my reaction to the things I have learned in the military through Self Aid and Buddy Care and emergency response training,” Matthews said.  “It’s not in me to just stand around and watch; I didn’t even think about it, I just went.”  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Traci Payne) 131st Bomb Wing Citizen-Airman is first responder
A Missouri Air National Guardsman from the 131st Bomb Wing was the first responder on the scene of a serious car accident Oct. 11.While traveling back to his house after a leisurely day spent with his girlfriend, Senior Master Sgt. Sheldon G. Matthews, the 131st Bomb Wing staff first sergeant, watched as a horrible accident unfolded right in front
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Air National Guard 1st Lt. Benjamin Garland (63), Denver Broncos Offensive Guard and 140th Wing Public Affairs Officer, stands with Ronnie Hillman (21) and Montee Ball (38) as he pumps his fist in the air after the National Anthem at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium, Denver, Colo. Aug 24, 2013. Garland, who originally entered the National Football League in 2010 after graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy, was on the Bronco’s reserve/military list while fulfilling his active duty obligations in the Air Force. In 2012 Garland joined the Colorado Air National Guard and made the Broncos practice squad as a defensive lineman and is competing this season to make the 53 man final roster. (Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Wolfram M. Stumpf) Colorado Air Guardsman's path to NFL
Many young kids have hopes and dreams of doing something amazing when they grow up. Some want to be an astronaut, or a police officer, maybe a member in the armed forces or play a professional sport.  And some actually get to live more than one dream, as is the case with Capt. Ben Garland, a public affairs officer for the 140th Wing, Colorado Air
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A 193rd Special Operations Wing firefighter views what is on the other side of a collapse structure during a Federal Emergency Management Agency Structural Collapse Technician course at Senator John J. Shumaker Public Safety Center, Harrisburg, Pa. Sept. 5, 2014. The two-week course prepared firefighters in the event that they are needed to preform Urban Search and Rescue missions. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Culeen Shaffer/Released) Firefighters train for domestic disasters
As clouds of dust and noise fill the air, 15 firefighters, wearing hard hats, dust masks, hearing protection and overalls, fight their way through concrete. The hot afternoon sun beats down on them as they drill and saw their way through a concrete rubble pile in Harrisburg Sept. 5. Some crawl into tubes where it is hotter, dark, noisier, and
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Ne’Veah Littleton with Lt. Col. Rob Balzano, 201st Airlift Squadron Operational Support Flight commander, during a day in which Ne’Veah was appointed a pilot for the Pilot for a Day program Joint Base Andrews, Md., Nov. 22, 2013. Ne’Veah is a terminally ill child diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, which is a tumor on the brain stem. Wingmen serve terminally ill ‘Pilots for a Day’
Eight-year-old Ne'Vaeh Littleton transforms from brain cancer patient to pilot as he promises to "have as much fun as military regulations allow" in the Pilot for a Day program.Looking handsome in his personalized flight suit, 8-year-old Ne'Vaeh took his oath of office promising to "ask questions, smile a lot, and have as much fun as military
0 10/01
U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Richard Dunkelberger, a first sergeant with the 116th Air Control Wing, Georgia Air National Guard, is shown in a photo illustration representing his service as a Citizen-Airman, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., Sept. 30, 2014. Dunkelberger is featured in a story about the Department of Defense Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) program.  Established in 1972, ESGR promotes cooperation and understanding between Reserve Component Service members and their civilian employers. Dunkelberger's employer, United Parcel Service, has twice received the ESGR Freedom Award for their support of Guard and Reserve members. (U.S. Air National Guard photo illustration by Master Sgt. Roger Parsons/Released) Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve: Comfort in knowing
More than 760,000 National Guard members have deployed in support of the war on terror since 9/11, leaving behind families and the civilian jobs they rely on to support their families.Standing in the gap to support these service members is the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.Established in 1972 by the Department of Defense, the Employer
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Members of the Colorado Air National Guard's 240th Civil Engineering Flight use a tape measure to measure the damage to a bridge affected by floodwaters in Loveland, Colorado, Sept. 19, 2013. Resilient and ready: facing a natural disaster
In September 2013, a 100-year flood devastated parts of Colorado by tearing up roads, uprooting trees, and leaving many civilians homeless. For Master Sgt. Jorge Charry, an Equal Opportunity and Diversity specialist at the Colorado Air National Guard's 140th Wing, this natural disaster was much too close to home for comfort. His daughter, Airman
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Congressional Medal of Honor recipients 1Lt Brian Thacker and Command Sergeant Maj. Robert Patterson take in the view of East Tennessee from an Army National Guard Blackhawk helicopter on their way to speak to students at Greenville High School while in Knoxville, Tennessee for the 2014 Medal of Honor Convention. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Kendra M. Owenby, 134 ARW Public Affairs) Medal of Honor recipients fly to east TN schools for visit
What does the price of freedom look like? Many East Tennessee residents got to see firsthand when 50 Medal of Honor recipients came to town for the 2014 Medal of Honor Convention in Knoxville Sept 10-13. The days were jam-packed with unforgettable events, stories, concerts, black-tie affairs, and dedication ceremonies to true American heroes.One
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2nd Lt. William V. Schleppegrell, P-47 Thunderbolt pilot with the 371st Fighter Group, joined the Army Air Corps on Dec. 7, 1942.  He earned his wings in March, 1944 and went overseas to European Theater of Operations, joining the 371st at Dijon Airfield, France, completed 16 combat missions before he was shot down over Germany on Jan. 1, 1945, and became a prisoner of war. (Courtesy Saarland Aircraft Crashes of World War II) Caged Thunderbolt: The POW experience of William Schleppegrell
Tail End Charlie ... that was where his name was on the schedule posted on New Year's Eve in1944. 2nd Lt. William V. Schleppegrell in the 405th Fighter Squadron of the 371st Fighter Group, who had completed 16 combat missions to date, was to fly the number 12 position in the formation of 12 P-47 Thunderbolt aircraft scheduled for a mission on Jan.
0 9/19
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