Douglas A/B-26 Invader

Legacy - Brothers in arms














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Good evening Martin !
 
I came across your magnificent A/B-26 site while researching tonight. What a tremendous effort! Thank you for preserving so much of her long story.
 
I have quite a family tie to her as well.
 
My Dad (COL Edward G. "Jerry" Bishop, USAF Ret) started out in the ETO in A-20Gs and then flew her in the ETO (A-26Bs with the 670 Bomb Sq of the 416th Bomb Group out of Laon, France); and again in Korea (B-26Bs with the 452nd Bomb Group at Miho and then at Pusan-Ni.)
 
Dad finished his career with 33 years, having flown FP in 33 different aircraft.
 
He logged over 900 combat missions in 3 wars (his last being C-7As in Vietnam)....and never got a scratch on him!
 
I thought I'd send along a few of his pictures for your consideration. (BTW the decals for the Airfix 1/72 kit "Miss Mildred" are his A-26B...that's my Mom.)
 
My brother & I also retired as Colonels. He finished his career with 30 years (and still works in the DOD Staff). I finished mine with 26 years. Both of us were heavy bomber pilots (he in the B-52G, and me in the B-52C/D/F/G; FB-111A, and the B-1B). So as you can see
 
I share your passion for flying - and particularly for the Invader. Hope these prove helpful to your efforts!

Knox Bishop
COL, USAF (Ret)
 
Fight the good fight. Keep the faith.
 

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Edward (Jerry) Gerald Bishop

Colonel, USAF (Ret)

Graham, Texas

 

Colonel Jerry Bishop, USAF Retired, entered the US Army Air Corps in September 1942 as an Aviation Cadet in reserve status waiting for an opening to enter pilot training. That call came in March 1943 with graduation in January 1944. B-25 transition training and A-20 combat crew training were next with follow-on assignment to the 4 16th Bomb Group, 9th Air Force at Melun, France, just south of Paris. He transitioned to the A-26 Invader at Melun and had flown 42 combat missions when the war in Europe ended. He was enroute to the US for a major modification replacing the canopy on the Invader with orders to proceed to the China, Burma, India Theater of Operations (CBI) when WWII ended. He was released from active duty to reserve status and returned home in September 1945.

 

Colonel Bishop was recalled to active duty in 1951 for B-26 Night Intruder duty flying 52 combat missions and served as combat crew training officer and night combat operations officer. After returning from Korea he served in a number of support flying functions and in the Avionics and Electronic Warthre maintenance business. He also served as Electronics Staff Officer at HQ Strategic Air Command and HQ USAF.

 

Recalled to aircrew duty flying the C-141 Starlifler in support of the Vietnam War, Jerry was assigned to Dover AFB, Delaware. After a brief tour of duty in the C-141 he was transferred to the C-7A conversion program which transferred the C-7 Caribou from the Army to the Air Force. He flew 810 sorties in South Vietnam in direct support of the 5th Special Forces Green Berets and the 3rd Marine Amphibious Force. On return from Vietnam, Colonel Bishop continued in the Maintenance Engineering and Acquisition Logistics career field as Director of Material Management at the San Antonio Air Logistics Center, Kelly AFB, Texas and at HQ Air Force Logistics Command until his retirement from the Air Force in July 1977.

 

Following retirement he worked for Lockheed Aircraft in Tehran, Iran under a U.S. Government contract to develop a wholesale logistics depot supply and maintenance system for the Imperial Iranian Air Force until all Americans were forced to leave Iran when the Shah abdicated power in the uprising of 1979.

 

Jerry returned home to Graham, Texas and worked in the family oil business until his second retirement in December of 1998.

 

Flight Information

  • Rating: Command Pilot
  • Flight Hours: 4,654
  • Combat Hours: 668
  • Combat Missions: 904

 

Aircraft Operationally Flown

 

Trainer Aircraft

  • PT-13 Kaydet
  • BT-13 Valiant
  • AT-6 Texan
  • T-29 “Flying Classroom”
  • T-33 Shooting Star
  • T-39 Saberliner

Utility Aircraft

  • UC-78 Bobcat or the “Bamboo Bomber”

Cargo Aircraft

  • C-45 Expediter
  • C-141 Starlifter
  • C-7 Caribou (Tactical Combat Airlift)

Fighter Aircraft

  • F-86H Saber

Bomber Aircraft

  • B-25 Mitchell
  • B-26 Invader

Attack Aircraft

  • A-20 Havoc
  • A-26 Invader

Awards and Decorations

  • Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster
  • Distinguished Flying Cross
  • Meritorious Service Medal
  • Air Medal with 9 oak leaf clusters
  • Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
  • World War II Victory Medal
  • Presidential Unit Citation with 2 oak leaf clusters
  • National Defense Service Medal with Battle Star
  • Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with 2 oak leaf clusters
  • European, African, Middle East Campaign with 3 oak leaf clusters
  • Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
  • Korean Service Medal with 4 oak leaf clusters
  • Vietnam Service Medal with 2 oak leaf clusters
  • Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with palm

Training

  • 1944 Army Air Force West Coast Pilot Training Command (AAFWCPTC) Undergraduate Pilot Training
  • 1944 United States Air Force Flight School (USAFFS) B-25 Transition School; Mather Field, California
  • 1944 A-20 Combat Crew School; Florence, South Carolina
  • 1944 A-26 Combat Crew school; Melun, France
  • 1953 Air Command & Staff School (AC&SS) , Air University (AU) Squadron Officer Course; Maxwell AFB,

Alabama

  • 1954 United States Air Force Technical School (USAFTS) Air Electronics Officer Course; Keesler MB,

Mississippi

  • 1959 Communications Electronics Staff Officer Course; Keesler MB, Mississippi
  • 1963 University of Omaha Business Management course (2 years); Offutt MB, Nebraska
  • 1966 C-141 Pilot Training; Tinker MB, Oklahoma
  • 1966 CV-2 I C-7 Combat Crew Training; Ft Benning, Georgia
  • 1966 Advanced Survival Training; South East Asian Theater; Philippines
  • 1966 Jungle Survival School; Pacific Air Forces (PACAF)
  • 1971 Ballistic Missile Staff Course; Washington, DC
  • 1976 Labor Management Relations For Executives; Kelly MB, Texas

Assignments

  • September 1942: Army Air Corps Reserve
  • March 1943: Pilot Training (AAFWCPTC)
  • October 1944: 416 Bomb Group, France
  • September 1945: Air Force Reserve; Graham, Texas
  • February 1951: A-26 Refresher course, Langley MB, Virginia
  • June 1951: 452nd Bomb Group, Pusan AB, Korea
  • May 1952: Instructor Pilot, Reese MB, Texas
  • August 1952: Mission Pilot, Harlingen MB, Texas
  • July 1953: Student, Squadron Officers School, Maxwell MB, Alabama
  • October 1953: Mission Pilot, Harlingen MB, Texas
  • June 1954: Student Airborne Electronics Officer, Keesler MB, Mississippi
  • May 1955: Electronics Officer, Cannon AFB, New Mexico
  • March 1956: Electronics Maintenance Officer, Laon MB, France
  • October 1956: Communications Officer, 38th Field Maintenance Squadron, Laon MB, France
  • July 1959: Student Communications Staff Officer, Keesler AFB, Mississippi
  • March 1960: Electronics Maintenance Officer, Lockbourne MB, Ohio
  • July 1962: Electronics Staff Officer, Hq SAC, Offiitt AFB, Nebraska
  • April 1966: C-141 Pilot Training, Tinker MB, Oklahoma
  • May 1966: C-141 Pilot, Dover MB, Delaware
  • October 1966: C-7 Pilot Training, Ft. Benning, Georgia
  • November 1966: C-7 Pilot, Phu Cat AB, Vietnam
  • November 1967: Joint Task Force II, Sandia Base New Mexico
  • August 1968: Deputy Chief of Staff (DCS) Systems and Logistics, Hq USM Pentagon, Washington, DC
  • September 1972: Hq Air Force Logistics Command (MLC), Electronics Staff Officer, Wright Patterson MB,

Ohio

  • March 1974: Director of Material Management, San Antonio Air Logistics Center, Kelly MB, Texas
  • July 1977: Chief of Stafi Air Force Acquisition Logistics Division, Wright Patterson MB, Ohio

August 1977: Retired from the US Air Force, Wright Patterson MB, Ohio

 

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And his first Son........

 

Colonel Gerald Knox Bishop served over 25 years active duty in the United States Air Force. During his career Col. Bishop served as a Command Pilot; and as a planner, programmer, wargame & systems analyst, and congressional actions advisor at Major Air Command and HQ Air Force levels.

He has also served as Exec to the Commander in Chief, Strategic Air Command  (who also functioned as the Joint Chiefs of Staff ‘s Director of Strategic Target Planning, responsible for the nuclear war plans of our country).

In his career he participated in the planning of the full range of issues from national nuclear policy and arms control to Air Force-wide mission area analyses Air Force war fighting force structure and its supporting systems and the programming, budgeting & congressional support planning they required. 

 

He was intimately involved for over 25 years with our most advanced technologies, from stealth bombers & cruise missiles, to advanced ballistic missile and space   systems, including third generation trans-atmospheric vehicles.

 

He served as Vice Commander of the 384th Bomb Wing flying B-1Bs & KC-135Rs at McConnell AFB, Kansas, for two years. He then returned to Washington, D.C. and HQ Air Force until August 1991 as Director, Strategic & Global Force Analyses.  After leaving the Pentagon, he served as Director of Administration, and Installation Commander, at the HQ Army and Air Force Exchange Service in Dallas, until his retirement from active duty in November 1993.

 

Col. Bishop's flying experience includes over 3,000 flying hours in 10 different aircraft

  • T-37, T-38, T-41 trainers
  • T-39A mission support aircraft
  • B-52 C, D, F, and G model strategic bombers
  • FB-111A strategic bomber
  • KC-135R aerial tanker
  • B-1B strategic bomber

 

For 489 days during 1970, 1971, 1972 and 1973, he flew 119 combat missions in Southeast Asia in the B-52, including the "Eleven Day War" over Hanoi. He has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and six Air Medals for his combat service.

 

He helped plan and analyze the effectiveness of strike and support sorties for the first Gulf War.

 

He has also served as president of four different Aircraft Safety Investigation Boards.

 

Following retirement from active duty, he served as the Curator of The Frontiers of Flight Museum at Dallas Love Field for 10 years. He also served as Operations Director for the FINA Dallas Airshow at Dallas Love Field for 8 years. He retired from there in July 2004 and now volunteers there once a week while residing full time in Graham, Texas.

 

He has owned & flown a Cessna 182 and still enjoys actively flying his own 1947 Navion.

 

Col. Bishop's civilian educational background includes a BA in Government from The University of Texas at Austin, where he was an Air Force ROTC Distinguished Graduate in 1968 and an MA in Management and Supervision from Central Michigan University.

 

His military education includes:

  • Air War College, the Armed Forces Staff College
  • Command & Staff College
  • Squadron Officers School (Distinguished Graduate)
  • Strategic Air Command Safety/Accident Investigator Course.

 

He has published aviation history articles for the "Journal” of the International Plastic Modelers Society since 1966, and has published military history articles in "Campaigns" magazine as well. He taught the history of aviation for Mountain View College’s Professional Aviation curriculum in Dallas for 9 years. He created and presented 46 aviation history programs totaling over 2,400 pages for The Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas, and taught nearly 210 hours of aviation history courses for the museum’s Docent corps. He also teaches college credit American History to traditional college & dual credit high school students.

 

He currently also ranks as a Brigadier General in The American Volunteer Reserve, serving as the Texas Commander of AVR units which provide military funeral honors for deceased veterans throughout the North Texas area.

 

He is married to his high school sweetheart, Becky, of Graham, Texas, and they have two married adult daughters, and three grand children.

 

His interests include flying, aircraft history, illustration and model making. He enjoys teaching, having taught aircraft systems & operational tactics as an Instructor Pilot in the Air Force, Adult Bible study in his church, high school & college  level history, and college level aviation history & business personnel management.

 

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