WWII pilots visit Goodfellow

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Six former members of the World War II-era 310th Fighter Squadron and their families visited Goodfellow Oct. 12, meeting with Airmen and remembering their time in the Air Force. 

James Driscoll, Gus Roberts, Roy Tanner, Jim Reed, George Reid and Dick Burnett are all former P-47 Thunderbolt pilots with the 310 FS. All offered the Airmen they met stories and advice. 

"There's three things you've got to remember to fly: airspeed, altitude and a sense of humor," Mr. Driscoll advised. "Of the three of these, the third is the most important," he added. 

Mr. Reid and Mr. Driscoll were with the 310 FS when it shipped out for the Pacific Theater in 1943 with the 58th Fighter Group, while the rest of the pilots joined the squadron overseas between then and the end of the war in September 1945. 

Mr. Driscoll and Mr. Burnett are also alumni of Goodfellow's pilot training program. Mr. Driscoll graduated with class 42-J and Mr. Burnett graduated with class 44-C when the base was still Goodfellow Field. 

The 310th Fighter Squadron was deactivated at the end of World War II, but was re-activated during the Korean Conflict. 

"I came home, started a family and business, and then Korea came along," remembered Mr. Driscoll, a former enlisted Marine who joined the Army Air Corps to fly with the 310 FS and then the Air Force to fly in Korea. 

The 310 FS continued to be stationed at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, until 1962, when it was again deactivated. Reactivated as the 310th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron in 1969, the squadron was relocated to Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., where it still serves today, training Airmen in every aspect of the employment of the F-16 Fighting Falcon. 

The former 310th pilots have met every year since 1994 in different locations to remember old times and good friends. Additionaly, the former members of the 58 FG meet every year. The group has been to San Angelo in the past, partly because Mr. Burnett has lived here since 1965. 

"There's always been a really great relationship between San Angelo and the base," Mr. Burnett said fondly.