28 February 1941 – The Republic F-84 Thunderjet was an American turbojet fighter-bomber aircraft. Originating as a 1944 United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) proposal for a “day fighter”, the F-84 first flew in 1946. Although it entered service in 1947, the Thunderjet was plagued by so many structural and engine problems that a 1948
Louis A. Silvestri Jr.
Lou was a member of the F-100 Super Sabre Society, the Daedalians, was an Air and Space Friend, and is inscribed on the National Aviation and Space Exploration Wall of Honor in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
He graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School with an Engineering Diploma; attended Hofstra University; received his BS Degree in Aerospace Studies from Embry Riddle-Daytona Beach; and received his MA Degree in Management from Webster College.
He served in the USAF from 1959 to 1985, serving as Aviation Cadet; Navigator KC-97 and KC-135; Pilot B-52; Pilot F-100, T-38 Instructor Pilot; Squadron Commander T-37 GAF; Air Training Command I.G.; and retired as Base Commander (Columbus AFB, MS). He was awarded the Legion of Merit, a bronze star, 2 bronze air medals, a silver air medal and a variety of other citations and medals during his two tours in Vietnam.
After retiring from the USAF in 1985 to November of 2006, Lou was the owner MIDAS Muffler Shops in Columbus, MS., Meridian, MS & Tupelo, MS.
With regard to being a pilot he says of flying the F-100 “It was a great ride – flying the sleek and shiny slightly supersonic Super Sabre in combat was the highlight!”