- Robert Lee Scott, Jr.
Infobox Military Person
name= Robert Lee Scott, Jr.
died= death date and age|2006|02|27|1908|04|12|df=y
Warner Robins, Georgia
caption= Robert Lee Scott Jr., fighter ace and best selling author
allegiance=flag|United States of America
branch= air force|United States
23rd Fighter Group36th Fighter Bomber Wing Luke Air Force Base
World War II
Silver Star(2) Distinguished Flying Cross (3) Air Medal(3)
Robert Lee Scott Jr. (
12 April 1908– 27 February 2006) was an officer in the United States Air Force. Scott is best known for his autobiography "God is My Co-Pilot" about his exploits in World War IIwith the Flying Tigersand the United States Army Air Forcesin Chinaand Burma. The book was eventually made into a film of the same name.
Scott was born in Waynesboro, near
Macon, Georgia, the oldest of three children born to Ola and Robert Scott Sr. As a youth, Scott was educated in Macon and became an Eagle Scout and recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award. Townley 2006, p. 20–30.] [http://members.cox.net/scouting179/Eagle%20Distinguished.htm "Distinguished Eagle Scouts."] Troop & Pack 179. Retrieved: 2 March 2006.] Also in Macon as a youth of 3 he witnessed the fatal plane crash of pioneer aviator Eugene Ely.
Upon graduation from the
United States Military Academyat West Point in 1932, Scott completed pilot training at Kelly Field, Texas. In October 1933 and was assigned to Mitchel Field, New YorkLike other air officers, Scott flew the air mailin 1934, commanded a pursuit squadron in Panamaand helped instruct other pilots at bases in Texas and California.
World War II
After World War II began, he joined
Task Force Aquilain February 1942 to fly a group of B-17 Flying Fortressbombers to the China Burma India Theater. Anxious to join the mission, which was to bomb Japan from China, he professed to be an experienced B-17 pilot. He actually learned to fly it enroute to Africa. Upon arrival in India, he found the mission had been scrubbed so he became stuck in India when he really wanted to be on the frontline in a cockpit flying combat. Within a month he was executive and operations officer of the Assam-Burma-China Ferry Command, forerunner of the famous Air Transport Commandflying Hump from Indiato Chinato supply the Flying Tigers.
Still anxious to get into combat, he obtained the use of a
P-40actually assigned to the Flying Tigersfrom Claire Chennault, and began flying missions with the Flying Tigers, flying as a single ship escort for the transports, and flying ground attack missions. During this period, he frequently repainted the propeller spinner in different colors to create the illusion of a much larger fighter force in the area than a single aircraft becoming, in effect, a one-man air force.
In July 1942, at the request of
Generalissimo Chiang Kai-ShekScott was named commander of the newly formed 23rd Fighter Group, formed by General Claire Chennaultwhen the Flying Tigers were inducted into the USAAF. Popular accounts stated that Scott inherited command of the Flying Tigerswhich actually disbanded that same month. The 23rd later become part of the 14th Air Force. ColonelScott flew 388 combat missions in 925 hours from July 1942 to October 1943, shooting down 13 Japanese aircraft to become one of America's earliest fighter aces of the war.
Scott was ordered back to the U.S. in October 1943 as deputy for operations in the School of Applied Tactics at
He returned to China in 1944 to fly fighter aircraft equipped with experimental rockets directed against Japanese supply locomotives in eastern China. He then went to
Okinawato direct the same type of strikes against enemy shipping as the war ended.
Scott then returned to the U.S. for staff duty in
Washington, D.C.and other stations until the period of 1947-1949 when he commanded the Jet Fighter School at Williams Air Force Base, Arizona. In 1951, he went to West Germanyas commanding officer of the 36th Fighter-Bomber Wing at Fürstenfeldbruck Air Base.
Scott graduated from the
National War Collegein 1954 and was assigned to Plans at Headquarters U.S. Air Force, and then to the position of director of information under the Secretary of the Air Force. In October 1956, he went to Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, as base commanding officer.
Museum of Aviationin Georgia.]
Scott retired from the United States Air Force as a
Brigadier Generalon 30 September 1957, and remained in Arizona until the 1980s. He then lived in Warner Robins, Georgia, until his death in 2006. General Scott wrote about a dozen books including "God Is My Copilot" and "The Day I Owned the Sky".
Scott continued to be active well into his retirement. In 1984, he flew an
F-16 Falconjet fighter, and in 1995, an F-15 Eagle. On his 89th birthday, in 1997, he flew in a B-1B Lancer bomber.
Awards and honors
For his combat record against the enemy in World War II, Scott received two
Silver Stars, three Distinguished Flying Crosses and three Air Medals.
1996 Summer Olympicsin Atlanta, Georgia, Scott carried the Olympic Flamealong a section of Georgia Highway 247 named in his honor.
* Scott, Robert Lee Jr. "Flying Tiger: Chennault of China". Westport CT: Greenwood Press, 1973. ISBN 0-8371-6774-4.
* Scott, Robert Lee Jr. "God is my Co-Pilot". New York: Ballantine Books, 1987. ISBN 0-34535-536-9.
* Scott, Robert Lee Jr. "The Day I Owned the Sky". New York: Bantam Books, 1989. ISBN 0-55327-507-0.
* Townley , Alvin. "Legacy of Honor: The Values and Influence of America's Eagle Scouts". New York: St. Martin's Press, 2006. ISBN 0-312-36653-1.
* [http://www.acepilots.com/pto/scott.html Ace Pilots Biography]
* [http://www.af.mil/bios/bio.asp?bioID=7088 USAF Biography]
* [http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Article.jsp?path=/GovernmentPolitics/MilitaryPresenceinGeorgia/MilitaryFigures&id=h-2691 Biography in The New Georgia Encyclopedia]
* [http://edition.cnn.com/2006/US/02/27/scott.obit.ap/ CNN "WWII fighter ace Scott dies at 97"]
* [http://www.warbirdforum.com/avg.htm Annals of the Flying Tigers]
* [http://www.historynet.com/air_sea/aces/3033396.html Interview with Retired Brig. General Robert L. Scott - American World War II Ace Pilot and Hero] by Jamie H. Cockfield
NAME= Scott Jr., Robert Lee
SHORT DESCRIPTION=Brigadier General in the
United States Air Force. His autobiography, "God is My Co-Pilot", was made into a film.
DATE OF BIRTH=
12 April 1908
PLACE OF BIRTH=
DATE OF DEATH=
27 February 2006
PLACE OF DEATH=
Warner Robins, Georgia
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