Alva G. Branch


 

Preferred Name: George

Nickname/Call Sign: George

Date of Birth: December 27, 1930

Highest Military Grade Held: Colonel, O6

Hometown: Myrtle Beach, SC

Biography

I don’t know which was the most exhilarating; my first twilight mission in an F-86 over the Punchbowl when I noticed the little red tennis balls floating up out of the dusk and maintaining their position in my canopy, or watching the telephone pole maintaining its relative position while visiting some miles north of Hanoi.

There was never a time for flying like the ’50s and ’60s. The Cold War era. The Wing went from two T-33s to four combat-ready squadrons in about a year. We deployed on our first “crisis” six months and 15 days after my arrival and fifteen days after the wing was declared combat ready. It is amazing how many things you can hear wrong in a finely tuned J-57, at night, over the Atlantic, when you are heading east and the tanks are behind you heading west.

In the next several years at the Beach, I made ten more Atlantic crossings and participated in two more “crises.” (All in all, I made fourteen crossings in fighters. One in an F-86 and two across the Pacific in an F-4, not a record but a good average.)

Units Assigned

  • 1952 -AC Class 52G, Malden Mo., T-6, Perrin AFB, TX, T-28, Laredo AFB, TX (T-33)
  • 1953 -12th Fighter Bomber Squadron/18th Fighter Bomber Wing, K-55, South Korea (F-86)
  • 1954 -1956 561st Fighter Bomber Squadron/388th Fighter Bomber Wing, Cannon AFB, NM/Hahn AB, Germany (F-86)
  • 1956 -1957 77th Fighter Bomber Squadron/20th Fighter Bomber Wing, RAF Wethersfield, UK (F-84F, F-100)
  • 1958 -1963 355th Tactical Fighter Squadron/354th Tactical Fighter Wing, Myrtle Beach AFB, SC (F-100)
  • 1964 – Chief Stan/Eval 12th Air Force Headquarters, Waco, TX (T-33)
  • 1965 – ACSC Montgomery, AL
  • 1966 – D/Opns (Worked on SEA build-up), HQTAC, Langley AFB, VA (T-33)
  • 1967 – 416th Tactical Fighter Squadron/3rd Tactical Fighter Wing, Bien Hoa/Phu Cat, Vietnam (F-100)
  • 1968 -1971 Chief, Flying Eval Branch, AFMPC, Randolph AFB, TX
  • 1972 -1974 DO, 49th Tactical Fighter Wing, Holloman AFB, NM (F-4)
  • 1975 -1978 AFMPC, Deputy Dir/DPMA, Randolph AFB, TX
  • 1978 Retired USAF

Awards & Decorations

Flight Info

T-33
F-86
F-84F
F-100
F-4

Military Education

  • ACSC

Civilian Education

  • BA University of Southern Mississippi
  • MBA George Washington University
Biography

Biography

I don’t know which was the most exhilarating; my first twilight mission in an F-86 over the Punchbowl when I noticed the little red tennis balls floating up out of the dusk and maintaining their position in my canopy, or watching the telephone pole maintaining its relative position while visiting some miles north of Hanoi.

There was never a time for flying like the ’50s and ’60s. The Cold War era. The Wing went from two T-33s to four combat-ready squadrons in about a year. We deployed on our first “crisis” six months and 15 days after my arrival and fifteen days after the wing was declared combat ready. It is amazing how many things you can hear wrong in a finely tuned J-57, at night, over the Atlantic, when you are heading east and the tanks are behind you heading west.

In the next several years at the Beach, I made ten more Atlantic crossings and participated in two more “crises.” (All in all, I made fourteen crossings in fighters. One in an F-86 and two across the Pacific in an F-4, not a record but a good average.)

Units - Education - Awards - Flight Info

Units Assigned

  • 1952 -AC Class 52G, Malden Mo., T-6, Perrin AFB, TX, T-28, Laredo AFB, TX (T-33)
  • 1953 -12th Fighter Bomber Squadron/18th Fighter Bomber Wing, K-55, South Korea (F-86)
  • 1954 -1956 561st Fighter Bomber Squadron/388th Fighter Bomber Wing, Cannon AFB, NM/Hahn AB, Germany (F-86)
  • 1956 -1957 77th Fighter Bomber Squadron/20th Fighter Bomber Wing, RAF Wethersfield, UK (F-84F, F-100)
  • 1958 -1963 355th Tactical Fighter Squadron/354th Tactical Fighter Wing, Myrtle Beach AFB, SC (F-100)
  • 1964 – Chief Stan/Eval 12th Air Force Headquarters, Waco, TX (T-33)
  • 1965 – ACSC Montgomery, AL
  • 1966 – D/Opns (Worked on SEA build-up), HQTAC, Langley AFB, VA (T-33)
  • 1967 – 416th Tactical Fighter Squadron/3rd Tactical Fighter Wing, Bien Hoa/Phu Cat, Vietnam (F-100)
  • 1968 -1971 Chief, Flying Eval Branch, AFMPC, Randolph AFB, TX
  • 1972 -1974 DO, 49th Tactical Fighter Wing, Holloman AFB, NM (F-4)
  • 1975 -1978 AFMPC, Deputy Dir/DPMA, Randolph AFB, TX
  • 1978 Retired USAF

Awards & Decorations

Flight Info

T-33
F-86
F-84F
F-100
F-4

Military Education

  • ACSC

Civilian Education

  • BA University of Southern Mississippi
  • MBA George Washington University
Photos