Friends of the 475th
Colonel Robert L. Scott, Jr.
Born on 12 April 1908 in Waynesboro, Georgia, Robert Lee Scott, Jr. grew up in Macon, Georgia. After attending two colleges he enlisted in the Army in 1927, gaining an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy the next year. Upon graduation on 10 June 1932, he qualified for pilot training and won his wings at Randolph Field, Texas in 1933.
Over the next eight years, Scott flew P-12s in Panama, becoming a top gunner, and served as a flight instructor. At the time of Pearl Harbor, he ran Cal Aero Academy at Ontario, California, but he craved combat. Signing on with a B-17 mission to the Far East, he ended up in China in the spring of 1942, and, as a colonel, began flying missions with Chennault's American Volunteer Group.
When the 23rd Fighter Group was formed to take over from the AVG in July, General Chennault appointed Scott as first commander of the Group. He scored his first two victories near Leiyang the 31st of that month. He downed a Nate north of Nanchang Airdrome on 11 August and on 2 September was credited with destroying one Nate and damaging a second. He became an ace on 25 September when he shot down one I-45 and damaged another. In the next 90 days, he added five more to his record before returning to the States in January 1943.
Scott's wartime memoir, "God is My Copilot", became an instant best-seller and was made into a motion picture. He returned briefly to China in 1945, delivering high velocity and aerial rockets to Chennault. After the war he commanded various bases and the 36th Fighter-Bomber Wing in Germany, and retired from the Air Force Office of Information as a brigadier general in October 1957. He continued writing and flying, still logging flight time in jet fighters in his 80s.
TALLY RECORD: 10 Confirmed, 5 Probable and 3 Damaged
DECORATIONS: Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross wit one OLC, Air Medal with one OLC, and the British Distinguished Flying Cross