Edwin A. Doss

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Edwin A. Doss
Col. Edwin A. Doss.jpg
Doss during his tenure as a lieutenant colonel.
Born (1914-09-14)September 14, 1914
Rector, Arkansas, U.S.
Died January 7, 1996(1996-01-07) (aged 81)
Riverside, California, U.S.
Buried at Riverside National Cemetery
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Army
 United States Air Force
Years of service 1940–1968
Rank US-O6 insignia.svg Colonel
Commands held 41st Pursuit Squadron
35th Fighter Group
27th Fighter Group
49th Fighter Bomber Wing
3rd Bomb Wing
Bangor Air Defense Sector
Battles/wars World War II
 • Australia
 • New Guinea
 • Dutch East Indies
 • Philippines
 • Okinawa
 • Japan
Korean War

Edwin A. Doss (September 14, 1914 – January 7, 1996)[1] was an American fighter pilot and commander in the U.S. Air Force during World War II and Korean War. Logging more than 4,500 flying hours, Doss flew 573 combat hours and accrued 280 combat missions during his leadership in the South West Pacific Theatre and Korean War.[2][3] For his two-year service as commander of the 35th Fighter Group during World War II, Doss was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Legion of Merit, and the Air Medal.[4][5] He received his second Legion of Merit and the Korean Ulchi medal with a Silver Star for his assignments as commander of the 49th Fighter Bomber Wing and the 3rd Bomber Wing at Kunsan, Korea. Colonel Doss’s service has been cited as integral to the development of long-range fighter tactics in the South West Pacific Theater.[6]

After the Korean War, Doss held assignments including Senior Air Force Advisor to the Pennsylvania Air National Guard, Vice Commander of the 85th Air Division (Air Defense) at Andrews Air Force Base, and Deputy Commander of the Washington Air Defense Sector at Fort Lee, Virginia.[7] In 1963, Doss was assigned to the United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) headquarters as Deputy Inspector General and Inspector General.[8] In 1964, he was appointed as head of the command liaison agency to the government of France at Paris.[9] He retired from the Air Force in 1968. He died in 1996 at age 81 in Riverside, California, and was buried at the Riverside National Cemetery.[10]

Early life and education[edit]

Doss was born in Rector, Arkansas. He later moved to Missouri where he graduated from Portageville High School in 1932. He spent the next two years in the Civilian Conservation Corps before attending Lead Belt Junior College in Desloge, Missouri.[11] He graduated in 1936.[12]

Career[edit]

Early military years (1940–1941)[edit]

Aviation Cadet Doss

After being commissioned as a Second Lieutenant on December 20, 1940, Doss’s first military assignment was to the 41st squadron of the 31st Operations Group at Selfridge Field, Michigan.[13] There, he flew Seversky P-35 aircraft.[14] In April 1941, he was appointed squadron operations officer.[15][16]

On April 9, 1941, Doss’s P-35 crashed due to mechanical failure in Selfridge Field. The plane was severely damaged.[17]

World War II[edit]

Lt. Col. Edwin A. Doss

In January 1942, Doss and his squadron were deployed to Port Moresby, New Guinea in the South West Pacific Theatre.[18] In June of that year, he was appointed Commander of the 41st Pursuit Squadron, and by 1943, he was a major in the United States Army Air Corps.[19]

In August 1943, Doss became commander of the 35th Fighter Group,[20] and in November, Doss was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.[21] In 1944, under Doss's command the 35th Fighter Group set a record for the longest fighter mission in the South West Pacific Theater.[22] After, the 35th Fighter Group continued into the Philippines. Under Doss's leadership, the group held a combat score of 397 victories and was the first fighter squadron to reach the Japanese mainland.[23]

After leading the 35th Fighter Group through the South West Pacific Theater from Lae, New Guinea to Okinawa, Japan, Doss was promoted to Colonel in 1945.[24]

Doss’s leadership as commander has been commended as integral to the advancement of long-range fighter tactics in the South West Pacific Theater.[25] His strategic leadership received mention in a booklet that was published by World War II combat pilots of the South West Pacific.[26]

Korean War[edit]

Colonel Edwin A. Doss
Col. Doss (left) after mission

In March 1953, Doss was appointed as Commander of the 49th Fighter Wing at Kunsan, Korea, where he flew a F-84G.[27] As a combat commander, he led the 49th Fighter Bomber Wing and then the 3rd Bombardment Wing, both at Kunsan, through the end of the Korean War. He returned to the United States in April 1954.[28][29]

Later military years (1954–1968)[edit]

Colonel Doss

After returning to the United States, Doss was appointed as Senior Air Force Advisor to the Pennsylvania Air National Guard.[30] His next assignment was as Vice Commander of the 85th Air Defense Division at Andrews Air Force Base. He then served as Deputy Commander of the Washington Air Defense Sector at Fort Lee, Virginia until 1960, when he was appointed Commander of the Bangor Air Defense Sector.[31] While serving as Commander of the Bangor Air Defense Sector, he held the position of Commander of the Bangor North American Air Defense Sector.[32]

In 1963, Doss was appointed Deputy Inspector General and Inspector General of the United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) headquarters.[33] He served as head of the command liaison agency to the government of France at Paris from 1964 until 1966, and then Deputy Commander of the 25th Air Division at McChord Air Force Base until he retired from the Air Force in 1968.

Edwin A. Doss

Education[edit]

Colonel Edwin A. Doss, French Medallion (USAFE)
General Orders 37 Secretary of the Air Force Oct. 25, 1954 Page 1
General Orders 37 Secretary of the Air Force Oct. 25, 1954 Page 2
Col. Edwin A. Doss Legion of Merit October 25, 1954

Assignments[edit]

1. Apr 1940 – Dec 1940 Aviation Cadet
2. Dec 1940 – Jun 1941 Commissioned Second Lieutenant and Pilot in 41st Pursuit Squadron at Selfridge Field, Michigan.
3. Jun 1941 – Jun 1942 Operations Officer, 41st Pursuit Squadron, Selfridge Field Michigan, and Port Moresby, New Guinea.
4. Jun 1942 – Aug 1943 Squadron Commander, 41st Fighter Squadron, Port Moresby, New Guinea.
5. Aug 1943 – Sep 1945 Group Commander, 35th Fighter Group, Port Moresby, New Guinea, Okinawa.
6. Sep 1945 – Feb 1946 Command and General Staff School, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
7. Feb 1946 – Mar 1947 Deputy Air Inspector, Fifteenth Air Force, Colorado Springs, Colorado
8. Mar 1947 - Aug 1947 Chief of Staff, 62nd Fighter Wing, Selfridge Field, Michigan
9. Aug 1947 – Jul 1948 Group Commander, 27th Fighter Group, Kearney, Nebraska
10. Jul 1948 – Jan 1949 Air Command and Staff School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama
11. Jan 1949 - Jul 1950 Deputy for Reserve Forces Headquarters, Tenth Air Force, Selfridge Air Force Base, Michigan
12. Jul 1950 – Jun 1951 Senior Air Force Advisor, 66th Fighter Wing, Illinois Air National Guard
13. Jun 1951 – Feb 1953 Air Force member (Air Defense) of the Weapons Systems Evaluation Group, Headquarters USAF Office of the Secretary of Defense
14. Feb 1953 – Apr 1953 Student Officer, Jet Transition Course, Craig Air Force Base, Alabama
15. Apr 1953 - Dec 1953 Wing Commander, 49th Fighter Bomber Wing, K-8, Kunsan, Korea
16. Dec 1953 - May 1954 Wing Commander, 3rd Bomb Wing, K-8, Kunsan, Korea
17. May 1954 – Aug 1957 Senior Air Force Advisor to the Pennsylvania Air National Guard
18. Aug 1957 – Jul 1958 Student at the National War College Washington, D. C.
19. Jul 1958 – May 1959 Vice Commander, 85th Air Division, Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland
20. May 1959 – Apr 1960 Deputy Commander, Washington Air Defense Sector, Fort Lee, Virginia
21. Apr 1960 – Jul 1963 Commander, Bangor Air Defense Sector, Brunswick, Maine
22. Jul 1963 – Jul 1964 Deputy Inspector General and Inspector General, Headquarters USAFE
23. Jul 1964 – Jun 1966 USAFE French Liaison Office, Paris, France
24. Jun 1966 – Jul 1968 Deputy Commander, 25th Air Division, McChord Air Force Base, Tacoma, Washington

Flight information[edit]

Awards and Decorations[edit]

Badges[edit]

Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge.png Secretary of Defense Identification Badge
United States Air Force Missile Badge.svg Guided Missile Insignia
Edwin A. Doss Legion of Merit Citation
Colonel Edwin A. Doss's Civilian Conservation Corps First Sergeant Stripes

Military medals and ribbons[edit]

Bronze oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit with One Oak Leaf Cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Distinguished Flying Cross with One Oak Leaf Cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Cluster
Army Commendation Medal ribbon.svg Army Commendation Medal
Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg Outstanding Unit Award
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Distinguished Unit Citation with One Oak Leaf Cluster
American Defense Service ribbon.svg American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal ribbon.svg American Campaign Medal
Silver oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with Nine Bronze Battle Stars
World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg World War II Victory Medal
National Defense Service Medal ribbon.svg National Defense Service Medal
Korean Service Medal - Ribbon.svg Korean Service Medal
Silver oak leaf cluster
Air Force Longevity Service Award with One Silver Oak Leaf Cluster

Foreign decorations[edit]

Presidential Unit Citation (Philippines).svg Philippine Republic Presidential Unit Citation
Philippine Defense ribbon.png Philippine Defense Medal
Philippine Independence Medal Ribbon.jpg Philippine Independence Medal
Korean Ulchi Ribbon with Silver Star.jpg Order of Military Merit (Korea) - Eulji Medal with Silver Star
Presidential Unit Citation (Korea).svg Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
Phliber rib.png Philippine Liberation Ribbon
United Nations Service Medal for Korea ribbon.png United Nations Service Medal

Effective dates of promotion[edit]

Insignia Rank Temporary Permanent
US-O1 insignia.svg Second Lieutenant December 20, 1940 December 20, 1940
US-O2 insignia.svg First Lieutenant June 1, 1942 September 14, 1942
US-O3 insignia.svg Captain October 15, 1942
US-O4 insignia.svg Major March 4, 1943
US-O5 insignia.svg Lieutenant Colonel November 28, 1943 July 1, 1948
US-O6 insignia.svg Colonel March 21, 1945 July 2, 1954
Announcement of Retirement for Col. Edwin A. Doss September 11, 1968
Certificate of Retirement for Col. Edwin A. Doss September 12, 1968

References[edit]

  1. ^ Social Security Death Index record
  2. ^ Pilots of the Fifth Air Force 16
  3. ^ Holmes 27
  4. ^ Pilots of the Fifth Air Force 16
  5. ^ Holmes 26,27
  6. ^ Pilots of the Fifth Air Force 16
  7. ^ Holmes 27
  8. ^ Holmes 27
  9. ^ Holmes 27
  10. ^ Social Security Death Index record
  11. ^ Holmes 26
  12. ^ Holmes 26
  13. ^ Holmes 26
  14. ^ Holmes 26
  15. ^ Holmes 26
  16. ^ Air Force Historical Research Agency
  17. ^ Aviation Archaeological Investigation & Research:March 1941 USAAF Accident Reports
  18. ^ Holmes, 26
  19. ^ Holmes 26
  20. ^ Air Force Historical Research Agency
  21. ^ Holmes 26
  22. ^ Wistrand
  23. ^ Wistrand
  24. ^ Holmes 26
  25. ^ Pilots of the Fifth Air Force 16
  26. ^ Pilots of the Fifth Air Force 16
  27. ^ Holmes 27
  28. ^ Futrell Appendix
  29. ^ Holmes 27
  30. ^ Holmes 27
  31. ^ Holmes 27
  32. ^ Holmes 27
  33. ^ Holmes 27

Bibliography[edit]

  • Pilots of the Fifth Air Force. “Fighter Combat Tactics in the Southwest Pacific Area.” Merriam Press, Vermont: 2007. ISBN 1-57638-017-3. 83 pages.
  • Holmes, Tony, Ed.. “’Twelve to One’ V Fighter Command Aces of the Pacific War”. Oxford, Great Britain: Osprey Publishing, 2004. ISBN 1-84176-784-0. 129 pages.
  • Wistrand, R. B. Pacific Sweep: A Pictorial History of the Fifth Air Force Fighter Command. F.H. Johnson, 1945. ASIN: B000ZUS7DW.
  • Futrell, Robert F. “The United States Air Force in Korea 1950-1953.” Government Printing Office: 2007. ISBN 0-16-048879-6.

External links[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Government.