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Captain Jack C. Mankin

Captain Jack C. Mankin

Captain Jack C. MankinOn 12 June 1921 Jack Cyril Mankin was born in Kansas City, Missouri. He entered the Army Air Forces as an aviation cadet on 31 October 1941, and graduated at Stockton, California on 21 May 1942. He was sent to the 78th Fighter Group at Oakland, California, and while there was caught flying under the Golden Gate Bridge. Mankin quickly found himself in Australia, and was assigned to the 9th Fighter Squadron, 49th Fighter Group.

The 49th was shipped to New Guinea in October 1942 and in February 1943 the 9th Fighter Squadron was the first in the group to transition from the P-40 to the P-38. Mankin scored one victory with the 49th on 11 March 1943, a Zeke over Oro Bay, before he was reassigned on 15 July to the newly formed 431st Fighter Squadron, 475th Fighter Group.

Flying a transport escort mission on 16 August 1943, Mankin's squadron was bounced over Marilinan, New Guinea by a superior force of Japanese fighters. Mankin shot down a Zeke and an Oscar before his guns jammed. On 7 November, escorting B-24s to Rabaul, he destroyed a Tony and an Oscar to become an ace.

Promoted to captain on 25 March 1944, and after 18 months of combat, Mankin was rotated home. He served as a flight instructor in a RTU, attended the Army Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. He earned a bachelor's degree at the University of Kansas in 1948.

At the outbreak of the Korean War, Mankin was assigned to the 8th Fighter-Bomber Group in Japan, but later served on the staff of the Commander, Seventh Fleet as an Air Force Liaison and Intelligence officer. He left the Air Force on 1 April 1952 to become a pilot for TWA, flying international routes for 30 years, retiring in 1981.

Tally Record:
5 Confirmed

Silver Star
Distinguished Service Cross with one Oak Leaf Cluster
Bronze Star
Air Medal with 2 OLCs

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