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Major General Levi R. Chase (December 23, 1917 – September 4, 1994) was an American fighter pilot and double flying ace during World War II.

Levi R. Chase
LRC - 2 Star.jpg
Major General Levi R. Chase in 1973
Born(1917-12-23)December 23, 1917
Cortland, New York
DiedSeptember 4, 1994(1994-09-04) (aged 76)
Buried
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branchUnited States Army Air Forces
United States Air Force
Years of service1941–1973
RankMajor General
Commands heldNinth Air Force
327th Air Division
12th Tactical Fighter Wing
15th Tactical Fighter Wing
3600th Combat Crew Fighter Training Group
8th Fighter-Bomber Group
63d Fighter-Interceptor Squadron
First Provisional Fighter Group
Hillsgrove Army Airfield
60th Fighter Squadron
Battles/warsWorld War II
Korean War
Vietnam War
AwardsAir Force Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star (3)
Legion of Merit (3)
Distinguished Flying Cross (6)
Bronze Star Medal
Purple Heart
Air Medal (28)

Chase served for 33 years including four combat tours across three different wars: World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. He flew 512 combat missions total and was a double air flying ace with 12 confirmed victories.

His credits include being the top scoring American ace during Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa. Chase was also only one of three Allied pilots to shoot down planes from all three Axis powers in World War II.[1]

Chase would later go on to serve as the operations officer for the 2nd Air Commando Group during the China Burma India Theater In this role he would eventually plan and lead the longest fighter raid of that time. His group flew P-51Ds from Cox's Bazaar, India, to attack the Don Muang Airfield in Bangkok, Thailand. The mission flew over 1,800 miles (2,900 km) and was successful in eliminating the remaining Japanese air power in the Burma theatre.[2][3]

In 1952, during the Korean War, Chase led the 8th Fighter-Bomber Group's attack on the Sui-ho Dam, which contributed to knocking out power to North Korea and northeastern China.

Major General Chase's military decorations include: Silver Star (2 oak leaf clusters),[4] Distinguished Flying Cross (United States) (5 oak leaf clusters), Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Air Medal (27 oak leaf clusters), the British Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar, the Croix de Guerre (with palm), and the Republic of China Order of Cloud and Banner 4th Class.[3]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Hammel, Eric (1994). Air War Europa: Chronology: America's Air War Against Germany in Europe and North Africa. Pacifica Military History. p. 119.
  2. ^ Y'Blood, William T. (Feb 15, 2014). Air Commandos Against Japan: Allied Special Operations in World War II Burma. Naval Institute Press.
  3. ^ a b "Major General Levi R. Chase". www.af.mil. United States Air Force.
  4. ^ http://valor.militarytimes.com/recipient.php?recipientid=24916