Clyde A. Benjamin
I flew the F-100A at Nellis. I reported into Willy (Williams AFB, AZ) after completing basic flying school at Webb AFB in Big Springs, Texas. After 3 days at Willy, I was transferred to Nellis as an experimental student to determine if pilots could go directly from T-33 to F-100, bypassing the F-86.
They did the same thing for Luke pilots that were flying the F-84. All told, I think there were about 6 people that went through this program. The F-100F had just entered the inventory, so that was the airplane that we used for transition. After checkout in the F-100F, we flew the F-100A and completed the gunnery program at Nellis.
My next assignment was back to Willy to fly the F-86 and continue the gunnery and transition into that airplane. At the conclusion of that training, we went to operational units and flew the F-100D & F at George. I guess that the experiment worked as future classes went directly from pilot training, T-33, to F-100 at Luke. I think that was the death knell for Willy, as all fighter pilots were vectored to Luke, and Willy closed.
- Pilot Training, Webb AFB, TX/Williams AFB, AZ (T-33)
- Pilot Training/Gunnery, Nellis AFB, NV (F-100 A/F)
- Gunnery Training, Williams AFB, TX (F-86)
- 1957-1959 474th Fighter Day Squadron/413th Fighter-Day Wing, George AB, CA (F-100 D/F)
- 1959-1960 309th Fighter Day Squadron/31st Tactical Fighter Wing, George AFB, CA (F-100 D/F)
Awards & Decorations
Military & Civilian Education
- 1951-1956 BSIE, Montana State University Bozeman