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
Clarence Dale Sissell
As a young boy, Dale Sissell collected models of airplanes and dreamed of flying. His dream came true after graduating from Texas A&M and receiving a commission in the USAF through ROTC.
After pilot training at Luke and Nellis, he was sent to Vietnam as close air support in an F-100 where he flew 238 missions. During the Tet Offensive, Dale was shot down twice, each time narrowly escaping being captured by the Vietcong.
He was severely injured the second time he was shot down and was forced to run from the enemy on a shattered leg toward a waiting “slick” US Army chopper. He spent many months in an orthopedic hospital at Lackland AFB in Texas undergoing painful rehabilitation. When he was ready to fly again, he was sent to Elgin AFB to fly the F-104. It was there that he met his wife Alaire, a nurse from Alabama.
The Sissells then embarked on tours of the Philippines, Korea, and Germany. From 1977-1978 Dale’s assignment was as liaison with the US Army, ICOR Headquarters at Camp Redcloud about 15 miles from the 38th Parallel.
After 29 years in the USAF, Dale retired with the rank of Lt. Colonel in 1984. He and Alaire moved to the mountains of North Georgia. They now spend several months each year at their mountain home in Hiawassee and the remainder of the year in Destin, Florida.