Ace of the Day: Lt. General Sanford K. Moats


Lieutenant General, USAAF (Ret)

WWII :: Confirmed Kills- 8 1/2 and one damaged


ACES_Archival_Moats_004Born in Kansas City, Missouri on December 4, 1921, Sanford Kenneth (Sandy) Moats attended Kansas State College before entering the Army Air Forces as an aviation cadet. He completed pilot training and received his commission as a second lieutenant on December 5, 1943.

Sent to England in early 1944, Lieutenant Moats was assigned to the 487th Fighter Squadron, 352nd Fighter Group, stationed at Bodney. Flying the P-51 Mustang he was credited with 8 1/2 German aircraft destroyed between July 18, 1944, and January 1, 1945, including four FW-190s on New Years’ Day.

In 1965 Moats became vice commander of the 401st Tactical Fighter Wing at England AFB, Louisiana, and flew 18 combat missions with the wing in Vietnam during temporary deployment to southeast Asia. Following the wing’s move to Torrejon, Spain, he became wing commander and, after his promotion to brigadier general, was named vice commander of Sixteenth Air Force.

From 1969 to 1975, General Moats was vice commander, Tenth Air Force, commander of the 26th Air Division, commander of Sixteenth Air Force and commander of the Sixth Allied Tactical Air Force in Turkey. In 1975 he became vice- commander of the Tactical Air Command, from which he retired as a lieutenant general on July 1, 1977.

Decorations: Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with one OLC, Air Medal with 11 OLCs, Spanish Grand Cross with White Ribbon and Belgian Croix de Guerre with Palm

Source: American Fighter Aces Album ©1996

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