George B. Inabinet, Jr.
George Boyleston “Jaws” Inabinet, Jr., (Colonel, USAF Ret.)
Col. Inabinet was born in Bamberg, SC on 16 February 1935. He was the son of George B. and Leila Fersner Inabinet. In 1953, he graduated from Bamberg High School where he played both football and basketball for the Red Raiders and was a member of the Beta Club. He attended Clemson University, the University of Georgia, and graduated from the University of South Carolina (Sigma Nu).
Col. Inabinet began his military career in the South Carolina Air National Guard in 1957. He entered the US Air Force in December 1958 for undergraduate pilot training. He completed pilot training in March 1960 at Greenville, AFB, MS (60-F) and was assigned active duty tours at Itazuke AB, Japan, Bien Hoa AB, South Vietnam, McConnell AFB, KS, Bitburg AB, Germany, Holloman AFB, NM, Luke AFB, AZ and Nellis AFB, NV. He returned to the South Carolina ANG in September 1969 as an Air Defense Command alert pilot. Col. Inabinet held positions in the Operations field including Squadron Weapons Officer, Chief of Standardization/Evaluation, Squadron Flight Scheduling Officer, Squadron Operations Officer, and was the Fighter Squadron Commander for the conversion to the F-16 in 1983. He also served as the Deputy Commander for Operations and the Deputy Commander for Maintenance. Col. Inabinet became the 169th Tactical Fighter Group Vice Commander in June 1988 and served in that capacity until his retirement in July 1990.
The action in the Vietnam War was just beginning when George volunteered to be a USAF Air Advisor to the South Vietnamese 2nd Army Division in 1962. Three times he deployed into the jungle with Vietnamese forces to engage the Viet Cong, and on two of those engagements came under enemy fire. During his tour, he was credited with 25 sorties.
In 1968, at Bitburg AB, “Jaws” received assignment orders to McConnell AFB for F-105G Wild Weasel conversion. He was to be assigned in Thailand for Operation Rolling Thunder missions over North Vietnam. However, President Lyndon Johnson halted the bombing of North Vietnam and “Jaws” was reassigned to Holloman AFB in the F-4.
During the Cold War, Col. Inabinet was on nuclear weapons alert at Osan AB (1960-1963) in the F-100 and at Bitburg AB (1965-1968) in the F-105/F-4. He was on alert when the Cuban Missile Crisis (22 Oct 1962) went to readiness condition DEFCON 2. Pilots were in the revetments all day ready to launch. Russia blinked and the crisis ended.
During his Air Force and Air National Guard careers, he achieved recognition as his fighter squadron’s ‘Top Gun’ in the squadron’s annual bombing and gunnery competition. “Jaws” was one of the first Air National Guard pilots to convert to the F-16 Fighting Falcon. He was a distinguished graduate in his F-16 class at Luke AFB and was an instructor pilot and flight test pilot in the F-105, F-4, A-7, and F-16 aircraft. He was a Command Pilot with 5700 hours total flying time of which 5100 of those were flown in jet fighter aircraft. He also flew the F-100, F-102, O-1, and the C-131 base support aircraft. Col. Inabinet received numerous awards and decorations during his Air Force and National Guard careers.
Col. Inabinet married his high school sweetheart, Sally Zeigler, in 1963 and he has always said that she was the best thing that ever happened to him. They have two sons, Lee (Letty) and George (Claire). They also have six grandchildren – Alyssa, Audrey, Christian (Holly and Rob), Paul, Matt, and Andrew. George is very close to his brother Gerry (Anna Louise), who lives in Lake City, SC.
George and Sally are members of Shandon Baptist Church in Columbia, SC and have worshipped there since 1980. Col. Inabinet is also a member of the Lower Richland Masonic Lodge.
- 1957 SCANG/USAF
- 1958 UPT
- 3/1960 Pilot Training, Greenville AFB, MI
- TDY: Itazuke AB, Japan, Bien Hoa AB, South Vietnam, McConnell AFB, KS, Bitburg AB, Germany, Holloman AFB, NM, Luke AFB, AZ and Nellis AFB, NV
- 1962 USAF Air Advisor to the South Vietnamese 2nd Army Division
- 1960-1963 Osan AB, South Korea (F-100)
- 1965-1968 Bitburg, Germany (F-4)
- Assigned Wild Weasel “Rolling Thunder” but the operation was canceled
- Holloman AFB, NM (F-4)
- 9/1969 as- an Air Defense Command alert pilot, SCANG
- 1983-1988 Instructor pilot/flight test pilot in the F-105, F-4, A-7, and F-16, Luke AFB, AZ
- 6/1988-7/1990 169th Tactical Fighter Group, Vice Commander
- 7/1990 Retired USAF
Awards & Decorations
5700 hours total flying time of which 5100 of those were flown in jet fighter aircraft
Military & Civilian Education
- 1/1964 – 4/1964 F-105D Operational Training Course, Nellis AFB, NM
- Clemson University
- The University of Georgia
- University of South Carolina (Sigma Nu)