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YOUNGEST - Colonel in the U.S. Army Air Force
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
N 43° 18.498 W 071° 19.258
19T E 311767 N 4797667
Quick Description: In February, 1945, at the age of 26, Harrison R. Thyng became the youngest Colonel in the U.S. Army Air Force.
Location: New Hampshire, United States
Date Posted: 4/20/2007 11:55:05 PM
Waymark Code: WM1EHH
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member SowerMan
Views: 193

Long Description:
PACIFIC THEATER: WORLD WAR II 1945

"In February, 1945, at the age of 26, Thyng became the youngest Colonel in the U.S. Army Air Force. He organized and trained the 413th Long Range Fighter Group, flying the heavily armored P-47N. In May, he led this group on the first single engine fighter plane flight over the Pacific Ocean, from Hawaii to Ie Shima, a small island near Okinawa. From there he led attacks on the Japanese mainland and escorted B-29 bombers over Japan, Korea and China. Thyng completed 22 missions in the Pacific Theater. On one, he shot down a Japanese fighter plane. On another, he and his wingmen observed the atomic bomb drop on Nagasaki, Japan."

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Brigadier General Harrison Thyng was born in Laconia, NH, raised in Barnstead, and graduated from Pittsfield High School in 1935. After graduating from the University of New Hampshire in 1939, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps as a flying cadet and received his Reserve Commission and wings in March 1940.

General Thyng served as a pilot throughout World War II. He was assigned as Commanding Officer of the 309th Fighter Squadron and was transferred to England. Flying Spitfires over Europe and Africa, he shot down nine enemy planes in World War II. He few over 162 missions in World War II before he was wounded in North Africa. By the end of the North African campaign, at the age of 24, he was the 31st Fighter Group Commander. After returning to the United States he was assigned as the Commander of the 413th long-range Fighter Group and fought in the Pacific until the end of the war, flying the P-47.

On November 6, 1951, Brigadier General Thyng took command of the 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing located at the Kimpo Air Base just outside Seoul. Flying F-86 jets, he shot down seven more enemy planes in the Korean War, becoming a jet ace. He was one of only six men in the world to be both conventional and jet aces. He flew 113 missions in Korea before returning home.

He was decorated 57 times in his long and distinguished 27-year career in the U.S. Armed Forces. Among his many decorations were the Silver Star with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Distinguished Flying Cross with four clusters, the Air Medal with 33 Oak Leaf clusters, the Legion of Merit with an Oak Leaf cluster and the Purple Heart. He also received the Asiatic Campaign Medal with four battle stars and the Korean Service Medal with three battle stars.

Before retiring from the Air Force to become active in politics, BG Thyng was the vice-commander of the North American Air Defense, Northern Region, at North Bay, Ontario.

Besides his combat service, BG Thyng organized the New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont branches of the Air National Guard in 1947-1950. BG Thyng was a founder and the first president of the New England Aeronautical Institute, which later merged with Daniel Webster Junior College in Nashua to become Daniel Webster College.

Type of documentation of superlative status: Plaque

Location of coordinates: Plaque

Web Site: [Web Link]

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