Veteran Profiles

Asa Herring

Air Force

Asa Herring, Lt Colonel, US Air Force, a Tuskegee Airman and retired U.S. Air Force Fighter Pilot, was born in Dunn, N.C. October 3, 1926. He has been an avid aviation enthusiast all of his life. He graduated from High School at age sixteen. While a student at Tuskegee Institute in the Aircraft Maintenance program, he passed the U.S. Army Air Corps Aviation Cadet written examination. Because he was only seventeen years old, he had to wait until he was eighteen before he could be inducted. /n /nAsa entered active duty December 27, 1944 as an aviation cadet. He flew the Stearman PT-17 and AT-6. He was approximately three months short of graduation when it was apparent that WW II was in its final stages. Germany had surrendered and the "Tuskegee Experiment" was one of many flying schools that were soon to be eliminated. Flying was continued but was drastically curtailed. All of the cadets who had volunteered (not draftees) were given the option of accepting an honorable discharge. Partly because of the segregated policies in the military and the desire to further his education, Asa chose to separate from the military. /n /nAsa again volunteered for military service in June 1949 and remained on active duty until June 1970 when he retired at the rank of lieutenant colonel. /n /nDuring his 22 years of military service, Asa served in England, Korea, Germany, Vietnam, and other temporary assignments worldwide. He was the first Black Squadron Commander at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.., where he trained pilots in the F-104 G Advanced Jet Fighter Gunnery Program. He was officially appointed an honorary Command Pilot in the German Luftwaffe. /n /nAsa has flown the PT-17, AT-6, 01E&F, F-51D, T-33, F-86A, F-84F, F-100C,D,F,&G; and F-104G. He flew 350 combat missions in Vietnam. His decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, and Air Medal with 13 Oak Leaf Clusters

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