Ace of the Day: Colonel Abner M. Aust, Jr.

ABNER M. AUST, JR.

Colonel, USAAF (Ret)

WWII :: Confirmed Kills- 5

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Aust Abner Alonefrom GroupBorn on October 7, 1921, in Scooba, Mississippi, Abner Maurice Aust, Jr., graduated from the Army Air Corps flying school at Luke Field, Arizona on April 12, 1943. Following a tour as a fighter instructor, he flew P-51s from Guam, Tinian, and Iwo Jima with the 506th Very Long Range Fighter Group.

Aust’s first encounter with the enemy occurred over Nagoya, Japan on August 16, 1945. On that day, Aust led an eight-aircraft sweep over the main island of Honshu, starting about 100 miles northeast of Tokyo and ending southeast of Tokyo at a very well-camouflaged fighter base. He attacked six Franks and when the fight was over he had destroyed three and damaged two more. On August 10, Aust became one of the last aces of World War II when he destroyed two Japanese Zeros and damaged another over Tokyo.

Aust remained in the Air Force following the war and served in a variety of command and staff positions over the next 27 years. Promoted to colonel on November 17, 1963, he commanded the 33rd Tactical Fighter Wing at Eglin AFB, Florida in 1967 and the 31st Tactical Fighter Wing in Vietnam from May 3, 1968, to February 8, 1969. Sent to Japan, he commanded the 475th Air Base Wing at Misawa in 1971 and then went to South Korea, where he commanded the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing. He retired from the Air Force on July 1, 1972.

Decorations: Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, Bronze Star, Air Medal with 25 OLCs and 3 Vietnamese decorations

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