Learning Center Our Enshrinees

Laurence Carbee Craigie

  • Graduated from West Point in 1923 and soon thereafter earned his wings.
  • Became the 44th member of the “Caterpillar Club”, a select group of airmen who have parachuted from a disabled aircraft.
  • Flew more than 100 hours per month from 1929 to 1931 while stationed at France Field, Panama Canal Zone, with the 7th Observation Squadron.
  • Became America’s first military jet pilot on October 2, 1942 in the XP-59A.
  • Named Allied Air Commander of Corsica in 1944 and participated in the invasion of southern France. The 63rd Fighter Wing, commanded by Craigie, played an important role, providing air cover for naval convoys northbound off Sardinia and Corsica and protecting them from submarines.
  • First Army Air Force officer to be flown remotely in a radio controlled P-59.
  • Became Chief, Engineering Division, Air Materiel Command, Wright Field in 1946 and later, Director of Research and Development, Headquarters USAF.
  • Served as Vice Commander and Chief of Staff of the Far East Air Forces during the Korean War and was the United States Air Force delegate on the five-member Korean War Truce Team at Kaesong and Panmunjom.
  • Returned to Europe as Commander of NATO’s Allied Air Forces of Southern Europe.

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