American Fighter Aces Association Symposium with Bud Anderson
When:Saturday, October 4, 2014 -
Location:William M. Allen Theater
Fighter Ace Bud Anderson flew two tours of combat against the Luftwaffe in Europe while with the 363rd Fighter Squadron of the 357th Fighter Group, based at RAF Leiston, England, and was the group's third leading ace with 16¼ aerial victories. His P-51D Mustang, nicknamed Old Crow (after the whiskey of the same name), carried him safely through 116 missions without being hit by fire from enemy aircraft and without Anderson ever having to turn back for any reason. He returned to the United States in February 1945 as a Major.
With over thirty years of military service, Anderson was a test pilot at Wright Field following the end of World War II, where he also served as Chief of Fighter Operations, and later at Edwards Air Force Base, where he was Chief of Flight Test Operations and Deputy Director of Flight Test). He also served two tours at the The Pentagon and commanded three fighter organizations at the squadron and wing level. From June to December 1970, he commanded the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing, an F-105 Thunderchief unit, during its final months of service in the Vietnam War, and retired as a Colonel in March 1972. He was decorated 25 times for his service to the United States.
After his retirement from active duty as a colonel, he became the manager of the McDonnell Aircraft Company's Flight Test Facility at Edwards AFB, serving there until 1998.
During his career, he flew over 100 types of aircraft and logged over 7,000 hours. Anderson is possibly best known for a close friendship with Brigadier General Chuck Yeager dating from World War II, where both served in the 357th Fighter Group, to the present. Yeager once called Anderson, "The best fighter pilot I ever saw."
In 1990, Anderson co-authored the book To Fly & Fight—Memoirs of a Triple Ace.
On July 19, 2008, Anderson was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame.