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Nevada starts it's Atomic bomb tests...
Item # 568087
January 29, 1951
THE NEW YORK TIMES, New York, January 29, 1951
* Don Gentile - American fighter plane ace killed
* Nevada starts it's Atomic bomb tests
This 38 page newspaper has a two column headline on the front page: "Don Gentile Killed in Jet Crash; U.S. Ace in Europe Shot Down 19" with photo.
Also one column headlines on the front that include: "2D ATOMIC BLAST IN 24 HOURS JOLTS WIDE NEVADA AREA" "Flash Reaches 200 Miles" and more. Other news of the day throughout.
Rag edition in great condition.
wikipedia notes: Major Dominic Salvatore "Don" Gentile (6 December 1920 - 28 January 1951) was an officer in the United States Army Air Force and, later, the United States Air Force (USAF).
His decorations include the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, the Presidential Unit Citation (US), the World War Two Victory Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the British Distinguished Flying Cross, the British Star, the Eagle Squadron Crest, and other foreign medals.
Born in Piqua, Ohio in 1920, after a fascination with flying as a child, his father provided him with his own plane, an Aerosport Biplane. He managed to log over 300 hours flying time by July 1941, when he attempted to join the Army Air Force. The U.S. military required two years of college for its pilots, which Gentile did not have, therefore Gentile originally enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force and was posted to the UK in 1941. Gentile flew the Supermarine Spitfire Mark V with No. 133 Squadron, one of the famed "Eagle Squadron" during 1942. He claimed two kills (an FW-1 90 and a JU-88) in his time with the squadron, both on 1 August 1942.
In September 1942, the Eagle squadrons transferred to the USAAF, becoming the 4th Fighter Group. Gentile became a flight commander in September 1943, now flying the P-47 Thunderbolt. Having been Spitfire pilots, Gentile and the other pilots of the 4th were displeased when they transitioned to the heavy P-47. By late 1943 Group Commander Col. Don Blakeslee pushed for re-equipment with the lighter, more maneuverable, P-51 Mustang. Conversion to the P-51B in early 1944 allowed Gentile to build an impressive tally of 15 additional aircraft destroyed during January-April 1944. He was the top scoring 8th Air Force ace when he crashed his personal P-51, named "Shangri La", on April 13, 1944 while stunting over the 4th FG's airfield at Debden for a group of assembled press reporters and movie cameras.
Col. Blakeslee immediately grounded Major Gentile as a result, and he was sent back to the US for a tour selling War Bonds.
His final score was 21.8 air kills and 3 damaged, with 6 ground kills, in 350 combat hours flown.
After the war, he stayed with the Air Force, as a test pilot at Wright Field, as a Training Officer in the Fighter Gunnery Program, and as a student officer at the Air Tactical School. In June 1949, Gentile enrolled as an undergraduate studying military science at the University of Maryland.
In January 1951, he was killed when he crashed in a Lockheed T-33 trainer in Forestville, Maryland.
Gentile Air Station in Kettering, Ohio was named in his honor in 1962. The installation closed in 1996.
Category: The 20th Century