Colonel C.E. "Bud" Anderson - USAF Retired

Bud Anderson, a native of Oakland, California, applied for pilot training when the US entered World War II and graduated in September 1942. His first assignment was with the 357th FG flying P-39 Aerocobras.

In November 1943, Anderson and the rest of the 357th transferred to England and soon began flying the P-51 Mustang. Anderson make his first combat mission on February 8, 1944 in his P-51 “Old Crow” as an escort on one of the first missions into Berlin.

His squadron engaged a group of Me-109 fighters attaching a damaged B-17 bomber. After a protracted turning fight with the highly maneuverable German fighters, Anderson gained an angle and critically damaged his opponent — the first of many kills he would score on bomber escort missions over Germany.

His most productive mission came on June 29, 1944 while leading his squadron on a mission to Leipzig. In a series of duels with FW 190 fighters, Anderson shot down three enemy aircraft. By the end of the war, Anderson had accounted for 16.25 downed enemy aircraft and one more destroyed on the ground.

Following World War II, Anderson became a test pilot at Wright Patterson and Edwards Air Force Bases. He returned to combat in Vietnam, where he flew F-105 Thunderchiefs.

Anderson then retired from service and worked as a consultant with McDonnell Douglas. Colonel Anderson has been decorated 25 separate times and, in 1990, co-authored To Fly and Fight, a book an Air Force historian described as, “The best pilot memories of WWI.”