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David Fitton, Jr.

Colonel (Ret.) David Fitton, Jr., remembers the thrill of flying from 30 years of service like it was yesterday. A veteran of three wars, Fitton embodies the spirit and character of fighter pilot history. Fitton attended the U.S Military Academy at West Point during World War II. He earned his Army Air Corp wings and his second lieutenant bars June 6, 1944; D-Day. After pilot training, he was deployed to the Pacific theater, arriving on Iwo Jima, August, 1945 where he was assigned to the 20th Air Force, 414th Fighter Group, 437th Squadron. During his assignment, he participated in one of the longest fighter missions of the war, flying from Iwo Jima to Japan and back -- a flight lasting eight hours and five minutes. After the war, Fitton transferred to Clark Field, Philippines where the 414th Fighter Group merged with the 18th Fighter Group and where he started flying the P-51. During the Korean War, Fitton flew the F-86A with the Fourth Fighter Group in Teagu, Korea. In Vietnam, he served as the director of personnel. Fitton’s distinguished accomplishments include the Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters and two Legions of Merit.