Profile: Ken Tollefson

Retired Colonel, US Air Force

Colonel Kenneth Tollefson, United States Air Force (Retired) is an active volunteer at the Marine Corps, Flying Leathernecks Aviation Museum, MCAS Miramar, and frequent contributor to the Historical Foundation’s quarterly publication The Log Book.
Colonel Tollefson served one year in Vietnam and six years in Europe. He is one of four distinguished students from the 1982 USAF Air University Command and Staff College that created the Air Force’s “Gathering of Eagles” program. Ken holds a Bachelors Degree in Science from the University of Nevada and a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of New Mexico Highlands.

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NoteStreams By Ken Tollefson

F7F-3N Tigercat Pilot & Hero (DFC)

Korea, April 1953. The Panmunjon peace talks that began in October 1951 continue but remain conflicted by the Communists’ demand that each prisoner of war be returned to his military regardless the desires of the prisoner. Absent any agreement, the war continues as each antagonist attempts to gain negotiation leverage by using its respective power advantage to wreak greater punishment on the enemy than received.
Leverage for the UN forces is largely dependent upon air power. With the Communists it is their massive Chinese army.
Lt Col Charles (Chuck) L. Schroeder, USMC, enters the HQ staff room to find it filled. General Taylor exclaims, “Gentlemen, I want you to meet the Marine pilot who stopped the war last night at the Marine outposts.”
This is his story.

Category: Military History

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1Lt Eldred “Jack” Whipple: Montello, NV Hero

In June 2003 there was a Montello, Elko County, Nevada town reunion. Those forty plus natives who returned for the reunion shared in the rich small town Americana experience that is emblematic of America’s World War II evolution from isolationism to international superpower. One of the most poignant memories for some was a July 4, 1944 picnic at Bowers Mansion, the historic Comstock era site between Reno and Carson City. Several families that had relocated from Montello to Reno and Sparks, were gathered there to celebrate Independence Day.
That day word arrived that Montello native, Lieutenant Eldred “Jack” Whipple, was killed in action. Word that his status had been changed from MIA to KIA spread fast across Nevada within the closely associated diminutive number of Montello natives.

Category: Military History

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Col. ‘Goose’ Guss: 1st Marine Shoot Down MiG

Last January, the Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation received a request for the purchase of a Memorial Brick for the museum’s Walk of Memories from the family of Colonel William Franklin Guss, USMC. Subject to space restrictions each Memorial Brick for the walkway may be personalized. The family ended their brick inscription with; “1st Marine shoot down MiG.”
That inscription begged further exploration, which proved far from disappointing.

Category: Military History

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Inside The Guadalcanal Story

NOTE: Supporting notations for this NoteStream are found separately in Guadalcanal Supporting Notations. If you switch between the two articles, the app will remember your place in both.

The Battle of the Coral Sea occurred during the first week of May 1942. It was the most decisive event of World War II for the Marine Corps although no Marine Corps combat unit was involved. That battle led to significant actions that would not only have a permanent affect on United States Marine Corps aviation, it very likely saved the F4U Corsair program.

It is also the first battle where aircraft carriers engaged each other, and the first time in history that the combatant’s ships never sighted or even fired a shot at each other; it was fought entirely by airplanes.

Category: Military History

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Guadalcanal: Supporting Notations

NOTE: This is a companion piece to Inside The Guadalcanal Story and contains supplemental material. Please make sure you download Guadalcanal for context. The app will remember your place in both NoteStreams at all times.

Category: Military History

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Chance Vought ‘Corsair’ – Marine Corps Icon

Hailed in World War II as the “Bentwinged Bird” by Marine ground forces and feared as “Whistling Death” by the Japanese; the Corsair is uncontested as the finest World War II shipboard fighter. It is also acclaimed by many as the war’s best single seat piston engine fighter of any nation.
In his book, ‘Whistling Death,’ Boone Guyton, famed chief Corsair test pilot who crashed with the first test airplane spoke of, “…the struggle to prove this bent winged bird-its power and speed, its structural integrity…even from its first few minutes of flight tried to tell us: It won’t be easy.”
For the Marines who ‘proved’ the Corsair in Pacific Ocean combat, there were no easy days.

Category: Military History

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US Army Air Force Pilot Shoots Down Wife

Boy meets girl is a classic story - except when it's not.
Louis Curdes, an engineering graduate of Purdue University, joined the Army Reserves on March 12, 1942. On December 3, 1942, he graduated from flight school at Luke Field, Arizona and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant. He went on to .... well, you'll just have to read it to believe it.

Category: Military History

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