Jeffrey Feinstein

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Jeffrey S. Feinstein
Captain Jeffrey Feinstein beside F-4 Phantom.jpg
Capt. Jeffrey Feinstein poses beside his F-4 Phantom II at Udorn Air Base, Thailand
Born (1945-01-29) January 29, 1945 (age 72)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch Seal of the US Air Force.svg United States Air Force
Years of service 1963–1996
Rank US-O5 insignia.svg Lieutenant Colonel
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Gulf War
Awards Air Force Cross ribbon.svg Air Force Cross
Silver Star ribbon.svg Silver Star (4)
Legion of Merit ribbon.svg Legion of Merit
Dfc-usa.jpg Distinguished Flying Cross (5)
Bronze Star Medal ribbon.svg Bronze Star Medal
Purple Heart ribbon.svg Purple Heart

Jeffrey S. Feinstein (born January 29, 1945) is a retired career officer of the United States Air Force. In 1972 during the Vietnam War, while flying as a weapon systems officer aboard F-4 Phantom IIs, Feinstein downed five enemy aircraft, thereby becoming a flying ace, the last of five U.S. aviators to become aces during that conflict.[1]

Early life and military career[edit]

Born in Chicago, Illinois, on January 29, 1945, Feinstein enlisted in the Air Force in 1963 to attend the United States Military Academy Preparatory School. He subsequently entered the United States Air Force Academy in 1964 and graduated in 1968.[2] His actions, for which he received multiple awards of the Distinguished Flying Cross and Silver Star for his first four kills and the Air Force Cross for his fifth kill, took place prior to and during Operation Linebacker in 1972 while Feinstein, assigned to the 80th Fighter Squadron, was detached to the 13th Tactical Fighter Squadron, part of the 432d Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, based at Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand.

His nickname/tactical callsign was "Fang." Having originally been designated as an Air Force Navigator, he was given a vision waiver after Vietnam (Feinstein wore glasses to correct mild nearsightedness to 20/20), sent to Undergraduate Pilot Training and redesignated as an Air Force pilot in the fighter community.

Feinstein subsequently served as an F-4 pilot with the 526th Tactical Fighter Squadron of the 86th Tactical Fighter Wing at Ramstein Air Base, West Germany in the mid-1970s. From 1977 to 1978, he was assigned to Maxwell AFB, Alabama as a student at the Air Command and Staff College, followed by another flying assignment with the 31st Tactical Training Wing at Homestead AFB, Florida. Reassigned to the 9th Air Force staff at Shaw AFB, South Carolina in the 1990s, Feinstein also flew as Airborne Command Element Director aboard E-3 Sentry AWACS aircraft during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm from August 1990 to February 1991.[3]

Lieutenant Colonel Feinstein retired from the U.S. Air Force on 1 July 1996. In addition to his Command Pilot wings, Navigator wings, and Parachutist wings, Feinstein was awarded the Air Force Cross, Silver Star (4 awards), Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with Combat "V" (5 awards), Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal (4 awards), Aerial Achievement Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, and numerous unit, expeditionary and service awards.

MiG kill summary[edit]

Date (1972) TFS Pilot Weapon systems officer Acft Tail code Call sign Wpn Kill
April 16 13 Major Edward D. Cherry Capt Jeffrey S. Feinstein F-4D 66-7550   PN Basco 3 AIM-7 MiG-21
May 31 13 Capt Bruce G. Leonard, Jr. Capt J.S. Feinstein F-4E 68-0338   ED Gopher 03 AIM-9 MiG-21
July 18 13 Lt Col Carl G. Baily Capt J.S. Feinstein F-4D 66-0271   OY Snug 01 AIM-9 MiG-21
July 29 13 Lt Col Carl G. Baily Capt J.S. Feinstein F-4D 66-0271   OY Cadillac 01 AIM-7 MiG-21
October 13 13 Lt Col Curtis D. Westphal Capt J.S. Feinstein F-4D   OC Olds 01 AIM-7 MiG-21


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