Gabby Gabreski: Introduction (01:30)
The son of immigrant parents, Gabreski grew up in Oil City, PA. He was part of the launch against the Japanese at Pearl Harbor, fought his first air combat in a Spitfire, and became the top ace in the European Theater and again in Korea.
Call to Flight (04:39)
Gabreski was the third of five children born to Polish immigrant parents. He grew up in Pennsylvania, graduated high school in 1938, and joined the Army Air Corps in 1940. His first assignment was in Hawaii; he recalls the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Polish Air Combat Tactics (03:43)
Gabreski flew 20 missions with a Polish Spitfire Squadron. In 1943, he implemented learned tactics with the U.S. 8th Air Force 56 Fighter Squadron, flying P-47 Thunderbolts.
Role of the Fighter Plane (03:56)
The 56 Fighter Squadron escorted B-17 bombers. In August 1943, Gabreski scored his first confirmed kill. In January 1944, Gen. Doolittle gave fighters clearance to pursue and attack the enemy; Gabreski became an ace twice over.
Gabreski's Permanent Commission (02:16)
In July 1944, Gabreski crashed his plane in Germany and was captured. He was freed in May 1945 and retired from the Air Corps a year later. He worked in the civilian sector for less than a year before returning to the Army Air Force and commanding the 56th Fighter Group.
Korean War (04:01)
In 1950, the MiG-15 joined the combat. In 1951, Gabreski joined the 4th Fighter Group and flew the F-86 Sabre Fighter. In April 1952, Gabreski downed his fifth kill.
Gabreski's Legacy (01:34)
Gabreski is the third top air ace in American history. He ended combat in 1952 but remained in the Air Force until 1967, setting standards for performance and practice.
Credits: Legends of Air Power: Gabby Gabreski (00:51)
Credits: Legends of Air Power: Gabby Gabreski
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