Clarence E. "Bud" Anderson
Bud Anderson clearly summed up his 30-year military career and service to
the United States Air Force perfectly in the title of his autobiography, To Fly and Fight.
Anderson was born in California in 1922 and grew up on a farm near Newcastle.
While at Sacramento Junior College, he earned a private pilot license at 19
through the Civilian Pilot Training Program. Soon after the attack on Pearl
Harbor, he became an aviation cadet. He received his wings and a commission as
a second lieutenant in the Army Air Force in September 1942. During World War
II, he flew two tours in the 357th Fighter Group from Leiston, England.
During 116 missions flying the North American P-51 Mustang, he became
a triple ace with more than 16 Luftwaffe fighters downed in aerial combat.
Later, after World War II, he was assigned to the Flight Test Division at
Wright Field, Ohio. He flew over 90 different types of aircraft and worked on
several unique test programs. On one, he flew a Republic F-84 Thunderjet
em> that was coupled in flight, at the wing tip, to the wing tip of a Boeing
B-29. On another, he flew different models of Republic F-84s up under a Convair
GRB-36. He then attached the fighter to a trapeze hung from the bomber and was
lifted into the bomb bay. He progressed in the field of flight test and rose to
chief of Flight Test Divisions Fighter Section. After an assignment to the
Pentagon, Anderson attended Air Command and Staff School.
He then served a tour
at Osan AB, Korea, flying the North American F-86 Sabre in the 58th
Fighter-Bomber Group. He soon became Commander of the Fighting 69th
Fighter-Bomber Squadron and led it during an extensive deployment to Taiwan.
Next, he went to the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards AFB and served as
Chief of Flight Test Operations. He flew the Century series fighters and many
other aircraft. In 1962, Anderson went to the Army War College for a year,
and then returned to Edwards AFB as Deputy Director of Flight Test. In 1965, he
became Director of Operations for the 18th Tactical Fighter Wing in Okinawa. He
flew the Republic F-105 Thunderchief and ended the tour as Wing
Commander. In 1970, after a two-year assignment at the Pentagon, he took
command of the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing in Thailand.
He flew the F-105 on
25 missions against enemy supply lines in Southeast Asia. Colonel Anderson
retired in 1972 with over 7,000 hours flying time in more than 120 different
types of aircraft. He then joined McDonnell Aircraft as manager of the company
test facility at Edwards AFB. Now fully retired, Anderson occasionally
gets airborne in Old Crow, a P-51 painted exactly like his World War II
|More About The Eagle:
|See the Lithograph:
During World War II, aircraft such as the North American P-51 Mustang
proved the value of escort fighters for heavy bombers. By the fifties,
there were bombers with transoceanic range, but there were no fighters with
that capability! Major Bud Anderson was one of the test pilots to fly on
Project FICON. The program was meant to test the feasibility of a parasite
fighter born by the bomber. Eventually, the emphasis changed to carrying a
parasite reconnaissance fighter. For Anderson, FICON presented some of his
most intense moments as a test pilot!