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2016-04-08T00:00:00.000Z

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Wrong Jack Ilfrey?

Capt. Jack Ilfrey Milton

Squadron Commander

79th Ftr

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79th Ftr

Background Information

Employment History

USAAF

Affiliations

Member
20th Fighter Group/8th

Member
94th Pursuit Group

Education

High School

Mirabeau Lamar Senior High School

Texas A&M College

Web References (106 Total References)


Captain Jack Ilfrey's nickname ...

a2jacketart.tumblr.com [cached]

Captain Jack Ilfrey's nickname was Happy Jack, which is where the name of his P-38J-15-LO Lightning got it's name "Happy Jack's Go Buggy" from. Ilfrey was a member of the 79th Fighter Squadron, 20th Fighter Group during the Second World War in the ETO and was one of the more unique men of the war.

While on his first of two combat tours in Europe, serving with the 1st Fighter Group, he caused an international incident when he landed his P-38 in nuetral Portugal, low on fuel. He (somehow) managed to talk the Portuguese into giving him enough fuel to finish his trip and took off. However, following proper procedure, all aircrew and ships that land in a neutral country during a time of war are supposed to be interned till the end of hostilities. This broke neutrality laws of war, and his leaving caused a big fluster.
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While the German pilot didn't survive the collision, Ilfrey managed to fly his badly crippled plane back to base and fight another day. In another incident, he was busted down to 2nd Lt. after the celebration for his promotion to Major got slightly out of hand on base. Ilfrey was acting CO of the 79th Fighter Squadron at the time, giving him the claim of fame of being the only 2nd Lt. to command a combat fighter squadron in the USAAF.
Ilfrey took large risks when others wouldn't as well. He landed his P-51 Mustang behind enemy lines in Holland simply to pick up his downed wingman when he was ordered not too. Both of the men managed to squeeze into the plane's cockpit for the short flight to Brussels, Belgium. He was also shot down during a strafing mission over France on June 13, 1944. With a lot of help from the French Maquis, Ilfrey managed to make over 200 miles back to Allied lines dressed as a French farmer.


Jack  M.  Ilfrey  Lieutenant Colonel ...

www.veterantributes.org [cached]

Jack  M.  Ilfrey  Lieutenant Colonel O-5,  U.S. Army Air Forces Veteran Tributes

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Jack M. Ilfrey
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Jack Ilfrey was born on July 31, 1920, in Houston, Texas. He enlisted in the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Army Air Corps on April 26, 1941, and was commissioned a 2Lt and awarded his pilot wings on December 12, 1941. He was then assigned to the 94th Fighter Squadron of the 1st Fighter Group, and deployed to England in July 1942. Ilfrey saw combat with the group in North Africa from November 1942 until he returned to the United States in April 1943. He then served as a flight instructor training replacement pilots in Santa Ana, California, before being assigned to England as commander of the 79th Fighter Squadron of the 20th Fighter Group in March 1944. Ilfrey was shot down over France on June 13, 1944, but managed to evade capture and made it back to Allied territory. On November 20, 1944, Ilfrey landed behind enemy lines and picked up his downed wingman and flew him back to friendly territory. He returned to the United States in December 1944 and was assigned as a Troop Commander at McChord Field, Washington, where he served until he left active duty in September 1945. Ilfrey was discharged from the Army Air Forces on December 28, 1945. During World War II, Col Ilfrey was credited with the destruction of 8 enemy aircraft in aerial combat while flying P-38 Lightnings and P-51 Mustangs. He died on October 15, 2004.


Jack M. Ilfrey ...

www.veterantributes.org [cached]

Jack M. Ilfrey

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Jack Ilfrey was born on July 31, 1920, in Houston, Texas.He enlisted in the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Army Air Corps on April 26, 1941, and was commissioned a 2Lt and awarded his pilot wings on December 12, 1941.He was then assigned to the 94th Fighter Squadron of the 1st Fighter Group, and deployed to England in July 1942.Ilfrey saw combat with the group in North Africa from November 1942 until he returned to the United States in April 1943.He then served as a flight instructor training replacement pilots in Santa Ana, California, before being assigned to England as commander of the 79th Fighter Squadron of the 20th Fighter Group in March 1944.Ilfrey was shot down over France on June 13, 1944, but managed to evade capture and made it back to Allied territory.On November 20, 1944, Ilfrey landed behind enemy lines and picked up his downed wingman and flew him back to friendly territory.He returned to the United States in December 1944 and was assigned as a Troop Commander at McChord Field, Washington, where he served until he left active duty in September 1945.Ilfrey was discharged from the Army Air Forces on December 28, 1945.During World War II, Col Ilfrey was credited with the destruction of 8 enemy aircraft in aerial combat while flying P-38 Lightnings and P-51 Mustangs.He died on October 15, 2004.


Jack Ilfrey

www.airartcsbailey.com [cached]

Jack Ilfrey

Jack llfrey was born July 31, 1920 in Houston, Texas. He graduated from high school there and went on to Texas A&M where he learned to fly in the first Civilian Pilot Training Program in 1939. He entered Army Air Corp as an Aviation Cadet, April 1941. He graduated 1941 I Luke Field, Arizona, in the first war time class, Dec. 12, 1941, and was assigned to the 94th Pursuit Group flying P38 D and E's in defense of the Southern California coast.
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Shortly out Ilfrey lost a belly tank but calculated he could make Gibraltar. Calculations proved wrong and he had to land in Lisbon, Portugal where he was immediately told that he and the P38 would be interned. However, he conned the Portuguese out of some gas, fired up and made an unauthorized take off. By the time he got to Gibraltar and International incident had flared up.
At the urging of the State Department, Gen. Eisenhower was to send him back to Lisbon but Gen. Doolittle stepped in and saved the day for Jack.
Jack was awarded a commendation letter from Chief of Staff, U. S. Army, dated 3rd Feb. 1943 for being one of the first aces in the 12th Air Force Mediterranean Theater, for shooting down his 5th plane the day after Christmas 1942. Historians now say he was the First Ace in a P38, but did not prove it with official records. He is also considered to be Houston's first ace.
After 208 combat hours, 72 missions, he was relieved from combat duty and returned to the states and instructed in P38's and P47's.
In April of 1944 Jack went back to the E. T. O. and became Squadron Commander of the 79th Fighter Group, flying P38's. On May 24th he was credited with 2 ME 109's in a hairy dog fight near Berlin. One of the 109's collided with his P38 and ripped off 4 % to 5 feet of his right wing. He was still able to return to England.
On June 6, 1944 - D-Day - he flew 3 patrols over the Normandy Landings (10 hours in a P38).
On June the 20th converted to P51 D's and went on Frantic VI, Shuttle Mission to Russia, Italy and back to England.
It was about this time the Maj. Ilfrey was busted to 2nd Lt. For infractions of the rules, but was left in command of the 79th Squadron. His claim to fame... or infamy.... Is that he was probably the only 2"d Lt.
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Jack is presently a Director of the 8th Air Force Historical Society and the P38 National Association.
Jack Ilfrey


Happy Jack Ilfrey

p38assn.org [cached]

Jack Ilfrey has been described this way:

"Jack Ilfrey is a real-life cross between Hans Solo and Indiana Jones. Of course, Jack pre-dates those fictional characters by more that 35 years. Flying P-38 Lightnings and the P-51 Mustang, Jack was involved in events that would leave Steve Canyon trembling like a mouse."
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Capt. Jack Ilfrey / P-38
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By Jack Ilfrey & Mark S. Copeland
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This autobiography was originally written in 1946 by eight-victory WWII Fighter Ace, Jack Ilfrey. This new edition has been expanded with many new photographs (many never before published), a special color photo section, and three detailed aircraft profile paintings. The reader will fly through the skies with Ilfrey in his P-38 as he and his unit, the famed 94th Fighter Squadron, become the first group of American aircraft to fly from the USA to England. Thrill to the stories of aerial combat over North Africa as Ilfrey becomes one of America's first WWII air aces. Marvel at the flying exploits of Ilfrey as a member of the 20th Fighter Group/8th Air Force and join him on his incredible evasion story through German occupied France.
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Signed by Capt. Jack Ilfrey, pilot of "Happy Jack's Go Buggy," this limited edition print features a wonderful depiction of the aircraft, and also documents the amazing wartime exploits of P-38 ace, Capt. Jack Ilfrey. Print measures 18"x 12" and is also signed by the artist.
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You'll read of such famous aces as Jack Ilfrey in his P-38 "Happy Jack's Go Buggy" and Jim Morris in his "'Til We Meet Again.
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Jack Milton Ilfrey was born July 31, 1920 in Houston, Texas, graduated from Mirabeau Lamar Senior High School there and went on to Texas A&M, where he learned to fly in the first Civilian Pilot Training Program (CPTP) in 1939. He had secondary Civilian Pilot Training Program at the University of Houston in 1940 while working for the Hughes Tool Company at night.
Jack entered the Army Air Corp as an Aviation Cadet in April,I941 and graduated at Luke Field, Arizona in the first wartime class (12 DEC 41). He was assigned to the 94th Pursuit Squadron, 1st Pursuit Group, flying the P-38Ds and Es in defense of the Southern California coastline.
In the spring of 1942, the 1st Fighter Group (as they were now designated,) were equipped with new P-38Fs and were ordered to Dow Field, Maine, to prepare for the "Bolero Mission" -- the first mass flight of fighter planes and bombers to England. "We called it the Guinea Pig Mission, cause that is what we were. Ilfrey said. On July 4, 1942, the 94th.
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On July 26th., most of the 94th FS (including Ilfrey,) landed at Kirton, in Lindsey, Lincolnshire, England.
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Shortly after take off, Ilfrey lost a belly tank, which meant he would not have enough fuel to complete the mission. He calculated that he had enough to make an emergency landing in Gibraltor, but his calculations proved incorrect and he was forced to make an emergency landing in a very German friendly Portugal. Immediately upon landing he was informed that, as the country was neutral, all pilots and aircraft from outside countries that landed there would be interned. Jack escaped internment by tricking the local military authorities into refueling his P-38F. Once that was accomplished, he offered to show them how to start the engines. With Portuguese officers still kneeling on the wings, Jack firewalled the throttles and pulled the canopy closed as his hapless captors were blown off like leaves. Without the time to taxi to a runway, Ilfrey takes off straight ahead. He then navigated to Gibraltar by compass alone. The diplomatic flap caused by Jack's bold escape results in the State Department demanding that he be sent back!
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After a total of 5-1/2 air to air victories, 2 confirmed damaged enemy aircraft, 208 combat hours and 72 missions, Jack was relieved of combat duty and reassigned to the states as a flight instructor in P-38s and P-47 Thunderbolts.
In April 1944 Jack went back to the ETO and became Squadron Commander of the 79th Ftr. Sq. 20th Ftr. Grp. flying P-38's at King's Cliffe. On May 24 he was credited with 2 ME 109's'in a hairy dog fight near Berlin. One of the 109's collided with his P-38 and ripped off 4 1/2 -5 feet of his right wing, but he was able to return to England.
On June 13 after successfully dive bombing a railway bridge over the Loire River near Angers, Jack was shot down while strafing a train near there -- some 200 miles below the front lines. He evaded capture and was back in England in 4 days.
It was along this time that Maj. Ilfrey was busted to 2nd Lt. for infractions of the rules, but was left in command of the 79th Sq. His claim to fame (or infamy) is that he was probably the only 2nd Lt. CO of a Combat Fighter Squadron during the war -- at least for a few days -- until he started his promotional climb back. He was again saved by Gen. Doolittle C.O. 8th A.F. at the persuasion of Col.
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After 70 missions and 320 hours of combat flying Jack was reassigned to the States, where he became a Troop Commander at McChord AFB.
In two tours, he completed a total of 142 missions with 528 combat hours.
Jack Ilfrey passed away October 15, 2004.
Visit this nice tribute to Jack Ilfrey

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