Home > Heros without Capes > Capt. Joseph McConnell, Jr.

Capt. Joseph McConnell, Jr.

The chatter never ends about the ills of society and what’s missing now-a-days, especially for today’s “yutes.”  Not being the Pope or a politician, I don’t know what will save mankind, but I recently discovered that something is missing from my life:

Sabre Jet Ace (The American Adventure Series)

There is one copy of this book available on Amazon.com  for $350.00.  There is another on AbeBooks.com for $975.00.   The nearest library copy is over 100 miles away from Cleveland, Ohio.  There is no eBook available.

I can’t remember how many times I read this biography of Capt. Joseph McConnell, Jr.  It fueled my dreams of becoming a pilot.  I not only learned about bravery and heroism, but also about dedication, persistence and selflessness.  And now this story is MIA for my family.

Beyond this personal loss, there are stories like Capt. McConnell’s being written today that are MIA.  Rather than curse the growing darkness that is the mainstream media, I’ll light a metaphorical candle:

Joseph McConnell, Jr.

During WWII Joseph McConnell attempted to become a pilot, but wound up flying as a navigator in a B-17. At age 28 when war broke out in Korea, he was thought too old to be a fighter pilot, but persisted until he was in the cockpit of an F-86. His 16 aerial victories made him the leading American Ace of the Korean War.   He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Silver Star.  He was killed on August 24, 1954 at Edwards AFB while acceptance testing an F-86H. He remains the highest-scoring American jet ace in history.

Distinguished Service Cross Citation

Distinguished Service Cross

The President of the United States of America, under the provisions of the Act of Congress approved July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Captain Joseph McConnell, Jr., United States Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United Nations while serving as a Pilot with the 39th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, 51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing, FIFTH Air Force, in action against enemy forces in the Republic of Korea on 18 May 1953. Leading two F-86s on an air superiority mission over North Korea, he sighted a formation of twenty-eight MIG-15 type aircraft. Determined to accomplish his mission and with complete disregard for the numerical odds against him, he immediately attacked. Although under fire himself, he pressed his attack to such extent that he completely disorganized the enemy formation, destroying one of the MIGs and damaging another. Several enemy aircraft were then firing at him but, seeing that the other Sabre in his flight was also being fired upon, he completely ignored enemy cannon fire directed at himself and destroyed the MIG that was pursuing his wingman. These victories, in spite of counterattacks by such superior numbers, completely unnerved the enemy to the extent that they withdrew across the Yalu before further attacks could be made. Through his courage, keen flying ability and devotion to duty, Captain McConnell reflected great credit upon himself, the Far East Air Forces, and the United States Air Force.

Military Times Hall of Valor

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Categories: Heros without Capes
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