When Bob Goebel left home to join the Army Air Corps in 1942, he was a nineteen years old and a high school graduate. Cadet Goebel worked his way steadily through the Basic, Primary, and Advanced phases of military flight training, and found in himself an aptitude for flight. After graduation from flight school with his new wings and new commission as a 2d Lieutenant, he and his classmates were posted to a fighter squadron defending the Panama Canal. By the spring of 1944 he was on his way tto Italy and the 31st Fighter Group, one of the top fighter outfits of the war. He was also headed for a new aircraft, the legendary P-51 Mustang. After 61 combat missions now Captain Goebel was offcially credited with 11 victories in his Mustang. Returning home in September 1944 he was not yet 21 years old.Goebel's memoir is a classic of combat aviation, giving the reader a true sense of what it was like to fly and fight as a World War II fighter pilot.- Covers stories about the often overlooked 12th AF in Italy- Tales of flying the classic P-51D, America's ultimate piston engined fighterAbout the AuthorFollowing the war Robert J. Goebel attended college on the GI Bill, earning a degree in physics from the University of Wisconsin. Returning to the air force he served on active duty for almost thirty years, retiring as a lieutenant colonel in 1966 after working on the Gemini launch vehicle for NASA. He then worked in the aerospace industry including the Skylab project. Now fully retired he lives in Torrance, California.
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Pacifica Military History
November 28, 2004
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