Carmine R. Bassano
Carmine Bassano graduated from the Academy of Aeronautics in August of 1958 with AAS in Aircraft Design Technology. He then joined the USAF on 8 December 8, 1958, attended Pilot Training Class 60F and was commissioned in USAFR in March of 1960. Carmine went to Luke AFB in Arizona for the F-100 transition and then to Nellis AFB, NM for advanced training. From there he was assigned to 416th Tactical Fighter Squadron as their new “brown bar”.
Carmine returned to England AFB, LA in August of 1964 and deployed to Takhli AB, Thailand from September to December 1964 and rotated into and out of Da Nang, VN on a regular basis.
He returned to England AFB and was released from active duty March of 1965 with the rank of Captain.
Capt. Bassano then began a career with Grumman Aerospace Corp. where he became a “Consulting Pilot” for the Lunar Module and worked closely with the Apollo Astronauts until the program ended with Apollo 17.
Afterward, he joined the F-14 Flight test Program as a Flight Test Engineer for the #3 A/C in the high-speed stability tests, traveled to Cornell University and Edwards FTC for some “side force controller” experiments and did stores separation analysis for A6 Intruder w/Cruise Missile.
Carmine was unfortunately caught up in the downturn of the A/C industry in the late 1970s and turned to the automotive industry as a service Manager and Salesman until retiring in 2011.
Carmine “Dick” Bassano was born on 22 Feb 1936 in Brooklyn NY, and graduated from Academy of Aeronautics in August 1958 with AAS in Aircraft Design Technology. He joined the USAF on 8 Dec 1958 and was assigned to Pilot Training Class 60F. He was commissioned in USAFR in March of 1960. He was ssigned to Luke AFB for F-100 transition, then to Nellis for advanced training. From there he was assigned to 416th TFS as their new “brown bar”.
Dick returned to England AFB, LA, in August 1964 and deployed to Tahkli AB, Thailand from September-December of 1964 and rotated in and out of Danang, VN on a regular basis.
He returned to EAFB and was released from active duty in March of 1965 as a Capt. in the USAFR.
Dick then started a career with Grumman Aerospace Corp. where he became a “Consulting Pilot” for the Lunar Module and worked closely with the Apollo Astronauts until the program ended with Apollo 17. He joined the F-14 Flight test Program as a Flight Test Engineer for the #3 A/C in the high-speed stability tests, and traveled to Cornell Univ. and Edwards FTC for some “side force controller” experiments. He also did stores separation analysis for the A6 Intruder w/Cruise Missle.
Dick was caught up in the downturn of the A/C industry in the late ’70s turned to the automotive industry as a service Mgr and Salesman until retiring in 2011.
Added by Carmine’s friends
Carmine stood in line waiting in his greens like the rest of the men who were with him. A bead of sweat trickled from under his Air Force cap. It was going to be another pretty warm day as it had been for the past week. The weather had been turning hot for more than a week and wasn’t going to let up. As he stood in line he reminisced about what had happened over the past few years as he reached for goals he had set for himself. Graduating from High School and then attending Academy of Aeronautics receiving an Aeronautical Degree in Aug of 58 and then joining the Air Force in Dec of that same year. Things had progress well and now he was standing on the brink of attaining his original final goal.
He smiled as his name was called out “2nd Lt Carmine R. Bassano front and center”. As he approached the C. O. of Class 60-F he smiled as his wife walked toward both of them. His C.O. called out his name again “2nd Lt Carmine R. Bassano has completed required training to become an Air Force pilot I present him his wings”. Carmine gave his wings to his faithful wife Carolina who had followed him to this point and well understood what this meant to him.
As Carol pinned his wings on the right side of his chest he again thought back about the girl he had met xx years ago, trying to win her and only then asking for her hand in marriage. It was hard for him to put it all together, a faithful wife, an education and now to be able to fly higher and faster than ever before and being assigned as a pilot to a tactical fighter squadron the dream of all red-blooded young American men that wanted to be pilots
Carmine and the rest of his initial pilot trainees celebrated with their wives that evening, he was as happy as he had ever been in his life. He looked forward to F-100 transition at Luke AFB and then to Nellis for advanced Fighter Training but before this, the dreaded survivor training that included communist torcher. They were good at playing with a man’s mind.
During training as things normally go an episode of “it is always the pilot’s fault” had placed a derogatory remark in his flight log. Carmine was flying a training mission when the axial trim went out of control and he barely was able to keep the F-100 flying.
Somehow it corrected itself and he wrote it up upon RTB. Then normal Air Force priorities took over and since technicians could not reproduce the same flight characteristic, the episode was written up as “pilot fault”. A few days later two pilots were scheduled for another flight. During this flight, you guessed it the same thing happened to the pilot flying the F-100 Carmine had previously flown, but this time with tragic results, killing the pilot. The derogatory remark was removed.
Upon completing this training Carmine was assigned to the 416TFS as a new 2nd Lt. This tactical fighter squadron provided, intelligence, interdiction, pilot rescues, flack abatement, and close air support. He returned to England AFB, La in Aug 1964 and was deployed to Tahkli AB, Thailand Sep-Dec of that same year and rotated into and out of Danang, VN on a regular basis. Now it was May 65 and Capt C. R. Bassano upon returning the England AFB requested and was released from active duty.
Carmine then began a new career with Grumman Aerospace Corp. He landed a very special assignment as a “Consulting Pilot” for the Lunar Lander Module working closely with the Apollo Astronauts until the programs end with Apollo 17.
Once the Apollo Program ended he joined the Flight Test Program as a Flight Test Engineer for the F-14 #3 A/C high-speed stability test, then traveled to Cornell University and Edwards FTC for some “side force controller” experiments (which was the beginning of fly by wire) and then did separation analysis for the A6 Intruder w/Cruise Missiles.
Now was the time of sterner measures as the economy fell through the floor and a downturn in the A/C industry and the Carter Presidency existed. As times continued to get worse Carmine turned to the automobile industry and plied his experience as a Service Manager and Salesman until his retirement in 2011.
Now we come to the hard part of leaving our Commanding Officer Captain Carmine R Bassano to the Ages and in the presents of God and His Son Jesus Christ where he can fly the hallowed blue sun lite skies, soar among the clouds and fly higher, faster and further than any earthbound pilot placing his hand in Christ Jesus our Lord and receiving his final Orders from the Alpha and Omega who we must all face in our final resting and the hands of Almighty God.
- 8/1958 Graduate from Academy of Aeronautics, with AAS in Aircraft Design Technology
- 12/8/1958 Pilot Training Class 60F
- 3/1960 commissioned in USAF
- 1960 F-100 transition, Luke AFB, AZ
- 1961 Advanced Training, Nellis AFB, NV
- 1963-1964 416th Tactical Fighter Squadron
- 8/1964 England AFB, LA
- 9/1964-12/1964 Tahkli AB, Thailand
- 12/1964-3/1965 DaNang, Vietnam
- 3/1965 England AFB, released from active duty
Awards & Decorations
Military & Civilian Education
- 1960 USAF Pilot Training (Class 60-F)
- 1961 Advanced Pilot Training
- 1958 AAS, Academy of Aeronautics.