Wednesday, September 29, 2021

1948 Bomber Crash Claims the Lives of Three Ga. Guardsmen

 By Maj. William Carraway

Historian, Georgia Army National Guard


A Georgia Air National Guard A-26 at the 54th Fighter Wing Headquarters in Marietta in 1946. Georgia National Guard Archives.

On Wednesday, Sept. 29, 1948 a Georgia Air National Guard A-26 crashed en route from Marietta Army Base to New York City.[1] Eyewitness statements made to the Virginia State Patrol indicated the aircraft exploded in flight and crashed near Simplicity, Va. Three Georgia Air National Guard personnel were killed in the accident. All three were veterans of World War II.[2] Army search personnel from Fort Pickett located the wreckage of the aircraft which had gouged a 30-foot trench after striking the ground.[3]

Captain Jerome Arnold Klausman, commander of the Marietta-based Detachment A, 216th Air Service Group was at the controls of the aircraft when it went down. Klausman was born June 23, 1918 in Macon to Marcus and Mamie Klausman. Marcus Klausman was a physician who immigrated from Russia. Klausman entered federal service with the Georgia National Guard’s 128th Observation Squadron in 1941 and transferred to the Air Corps in 1942. Assigned to the European Theater he was twice awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. He joined the Georgia Air National Guard in 1946 and in his civilian capacity worked as a jeweler. Klausman is buried in Westlawn Memorial Park in Atlanta.[4]

Doctor Marcus Klausman presents the first annual Klausman Trophy
to Maj. William Kelly at Governor’s Day during Annual Training
 in 1950. Georgia National Guard Archives.

To honor the memory of Capt, Klausman the 216th ASG established the Klausman Trophy. [5] The first Klausman Trophy was presented by Dr. Marcus Klausman to Maj. William Kelly, commander of Detachment C, 216th ASG in the summer of 1950.[6]

First Lieutenant William Frederick Scarborough, 24, enlisted in the Air Corps in 1943 and served with the 3035 AAF Base Unit. Upon mustering out in 1946 Scarborough joined the Georgia Air National Guard. His brother, Homer Scarborough, served with the 121st Infantry Regiment during World War II.[7] William is buried in Northview Cemetery in Dublin.

Second Lieutenant William Oscar Colley was a 25-year-old pilot from Elberton who ran his own flight business. A graduate of North Georgia College, he served in World War II as a flight officer and entered service with the Ga. ANG upon discharge from active duty. He is buried in Elmhurst Cemetery in Elberton.

[1] “Air Crash Kills 3 Georgia Guardsmen.” The Atlanta Constitution, Sept. 30, 1948, 1.

[2] “Guard identifies Atlanta Captain in Air Crash.” The Atlanta Constitution, Oct 1, 1948, 1.

[3] “Three Guard Officers Die in Plane Crash.” The Tampa Tribune, Oct. 1, 1948, 1.

[4] “Capt. Klausman Rites Tomorrow; Crash Victim.” The Atlanta Constitution, Oct. 5, 1948, 13.

[5] “Unit News.” The Georgia Guardsman Magazine. July-Aug 1950, 1.

[6] “Awards and Decorations Honor Guardsmen at Camp.” The Georgia Guardsman Magazine, Sept-Oct 1950, 10.

[7] GA-13-MD-GA 1941, 79.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Nescit Cedere: “He Knows No Surrender”

 By Maj. William Carraway

Historian, Ga. Army National Guard


The unit crests of the 118th and 230th FA flank images of Battery A, Georgia Artillery in 1916 and Battery A 1-118th FA in 2014. Georgia National Guard Archives

The earliest elements of the Georgia Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 118th Field Artillery Regiment were organized April 18, 1751 in Savannah, Ga.[1] The regiment fought during the American Revolution and the War of 1812 and began its Civil War service at Fort Pulaski in 1861.

Fort Pulaski. Photo by Maj. William Carraway

Elements of the 118th served in multiple units during the Civil War including the 1st Georgia Volunteer Regiment, Wheaton’s Battery, the 13th and 18th Battalion Georgia Infantry. The venerable Chatham Artillery detached from the regiment in September 1861 and served as an independent battery, ultimately surrendering in North Carolina in April 1865.

Pvt. John  Hancock, 1st Ga.
Vol. Inf. 1898.
Georgia National Guard Archives

In 1872, the 118th Field Artillery was reorganized as the 1st Georgia Infantry Regiment. Elements of this unit entered federal service in May 1898 during the Spanish American War.

In July 1916, the 1st Georgia Infantry Regiment was dispatched to Camp Cotton in El Paso Texas following border tensions with Mexico. Returning in 1917, the unit began training for overseas service and on September 23, 1917, received its present designation as the 118th Field Artillery Regiment. The 118th served in France with the 31st Infantry Division and was demobilized in 1919. In 1941, the 118th Field Artillery was ordered into federal service as part of the 30th Infantry Division. The 118th Regiment would serve as the 118th and 230th Field Artillery Battalion with the 30th ID in the European theater where it would earn four Meritorious Unit Commendations and fight with distinction at Saint Lo, Malmedy and Mortain.

Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the 1-118th FA has mobilized for overseas contingency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2020, Soldiers of the 1-118th participated in Operation Noble Partner in the country of Georgia and supported the state's response to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Soldiers of the Savannah-based Battery C, 1-118th FAR and the Glennville-based Company A, 177th Brigade Engineer Battalion, stand in formation
during the opening ceremony for Noble Partner 2020 at the Vaziani Training Area, country of Georgia Sept. 7, 2020. photo by Spc. Isaiah Matthews.

[1] Lineage and Honors of the 118th Field Artillery. Department of the Army

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Training, Dramatic Rescue Saves Ga. ANG Pilots Who Ejected Over the Atlantic

 By Maj. William Carraway

Historian, Georgia Army National Guard


Pilots of the 128th Fighter Interceptor Squadron in June 1958. Second Lieutenant Oliver Trotter is in the top row, second from the right.
Squadron commander, Maj. Fletcher E. Meadors is in the first row on the left. Captain Eugene Parrott kneels fourth from the left and
Capt. George Lindsey kneels far right. Photo courtesy of Gary Parrott.

September 21, 1958 began uneventfully for Georgia Air National Guard Capt. Eugene Parrott and 2nd Lt. Oliver E. Trotter Jr., both of Chattanooga, Tenn. The pilots were on a routine tow-target mission 50-miles off the coast of Savannah. Parrott, a veteran of more than 100 combat missions in the skies over Korea was at the controls of the T-33 jet trainer. Oliver, in the seat behind him, had graduated flight school in March.[1]

In the era before computer scored target hits, aerial target practice was facilitated by aircraft towing targets, often a large sheet of canvas. Pilots of the Georgia Air National Guard flying B-26 bombers and T-33 jets had towed targets for nearly 10 years supporting aerial gunnery training as well as towing targets for ground-based antiaircraft artillery units.[2] Whereas AAA training was conducted at Fort Stewart, aerial gunnery took place over the Atlantic Ocean where jet pilots fired individually colored bullets to mark their hits on the target.[3] 

T-33 pilots of the 128th Fighter Interceptor Squadron prepare to take off on an aerial gunnery training mission in 1958. Georgia National Guard Archives.

Towing targets provided excellent combat training but was not without its risks. Pilots on gun runs might pepper the tow aircraft as well as the target. It was also possible for a pilot to lose sight of the lead aircraft or overcorrect resulting in a mid-air collision. 

Parrott and Trotter were flying at 400 knots at an altitude of 12,000 feet when they experienced a slight jarring sensation. Parrott, a combat veteran and experienced pilot, instinctively began a visual inspection and noticed fuel pouring from the right aileron. Trotter observed the damage as Parrott reported his situation informing the pilot as smoke began to emerge from the wing. Realizing the craft was on fire, Parrott immediately advanced the throttle in an effort to put the fire out; however, the heat from the fire had already melted half of the aileron which subsequently fell off. The loss of the aileron caused a vibration which threatened to shake the wing to pieces. Assessing the situation, Parrott calmly advised Trotter, “Let’s get out of here.” The pilots ejected from the aircraft and were momentarily unconscious from the force of the ejection rockets. Nevertheless, the parachutes deployed automatically and when the pilots recovered from the initial blackout, they discovered that they were quietly floating within shouting distance of one another towards the ocean below.

Parrott called to Trotter and instructed him to inflate his rescue raft then attempted to inflate his. While Trotter successfully inflated his raft, Parrott's emergency inflation cylinder only partially inflated his. Fortunately, as he drifted ever closer to the waves below Parrott was able to completely inflate the raft and upon landing claimed that he didn’t even get his head under water. 

Observing the drama, Capt. George Lindsey circled his F-84 above the pilots maintaining a vigil over the descending parachutes and calling their location to Savannah Ground Control Intercept Station Glena which scrambled a Marine rescue helicopter from Beaufort, S.C. A Ga. ANG C-47 was also dispatched and dropped additional rafts; however, the waters were too choppy for the pilots to reach them.[4]

With a rescue helicopter inbound, Lindsey maintained his vigil over the downed pilots despite his fuel nearing exhaustion. He departed the scene only when relieved by Capt. Roland Rieck of the Savannah-based 158th Fighter Interceptor Squadron. Rieck helped vector the rescue helicopter to the scene until the Marine rescue crew could observe the sea marker dye the pilots had released from their life vests. Arriving less than one hour after incident, the helicopter plucked Lt. Trotter from the ocean using a sling hoist then retrieved Capt. Parrott. The rescue was completed 62 minutes after the pilots bailed out.

The pilots were transported to Hunter Air Force Base in Savannah where they were treated for minor injuries and released.


Second Lieutenant Oliver E. Trotter Jr. and Capt. Eugene Parrott are congratulated on their rescue by Maj. Fletcher E. Meadors, commander of the
128th Fighter Interceptor Squadron. Georgia National Guard Archives.


Trotter left the Georgia Air National Guard to concentrate on his studies at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Lindsey remained in the Ga. ANG until 1965 rising to the rank of major. Rieck, who relieved Lindsey of his vigil over the downed pilots remained in the Ga. ANG until 1968 and left the service as a lieutenant colonel.

Parrott remained in the Ga. ANG and was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1965. He left the service in 1966 to become a test pilot for Boeing. He died in 2020 at the age of 91 and is buried in Chattanooga National Cemetery.


Eugene Parrott. Images courtesy of Gary Parrott.

[1] “Two Ga. Pilots Rescued at Sea.” The Georgia Guardsman Magazine. Sept-Oct 1958, 10.

[2] “116th Ftr.Bmr.Wg., Attached ANG Units Set Aerial Records at Travis.” The Georgia Guardsman Magazine. Sept, Oct 1954, 2.

 [3]“Photo review of 116th Ftr Intcp Wing Encampment“ The Georgia Guardsman Magazine, Aug, Sept 1955, 4.

[4] “2 Guard Pilots Parachute from burning Plane.” Brunswick News. Sept. 22. 1958, 1.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

The Ga. ANG in the C-124 Globemaster Era: 1966-1974

By Maj. William Carraway

Historian, Georgia Army National Guard


The C-124 Globemaster was assigned to the Ga. ANG in December 1966 replacing the C-97 Stratofreighter. Stratofreighters are visible
to the left in this image from Dobbins AFB. Georgia National Guard Archives.

On Sept. 19, 1974, the last two C-124 Globemaster aircraft in service departed Savannah Municipal Airport bound for Tucson Arizona and the vast mothball fields of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. The aircraft, assigned to the Georgia Air National Guard’s 165th Military Airlift Group, had logged a combined 10 million miles and more than 25,000 flying hours each while assigned to the Georgia Air National Guard. The delivery of the last C-124s to storage marked the end of a nearly eight-year chapter in the history of the Ga. Air National Guard

Prelude: The Air Transport Mission Begins

By 1960, the Georgia Air National Guard encompassed fighter interceptor aircraft stationed at Dobbins Air Force Base and Travis Field in Savannah under the 116th Air Defense Wing and the subordinate 116th and 165th Fighter Groups. [1] On April 1, 1961, the Ga. Air National Guard’s 116th Air Defense Wing was reorganized as the 116th Air Transport Wing (Heavy).[2] Pilots of the 116th began delivering their F-86L fighter jets to the California Air National Guard in February and March and started the training to transition from single-engine jet aircraft to the double-deck multi-engine C-97 Stratofreighter. Flight crews and maintenance personnel completed training in May 1961 at Randolph, AFB, Texas and the 128th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, redesignated the 128th Air Transport Squadron, received the first four C-97s in June.

Through the remainder of 1961, 31 pilots and 29 flight engineers completed home-station training on the C-97. Subsequently, the Ga. Air National Guard announced that the Savannah-based 165th Fighter Group would also convert to the heavy transport mission. The 165th received its first C-97 in 1961 and was redesignated the 165th Air Transport Group on April 1, 1962.[3] The Georgia Air National Guard flew the C-97 Stratofreighter for more than five years.

Transition to the Globemaster

The Georgia Air National Guard’s 116th Military Airlift Group became the first Air National Guard unit in the nation to receive the C-124 Globemaster Dec. 7, 1966.[4] The Globemaster was praised by Ga. ANG pilots for its cargo capacity its range and for the comfort and proximity of crew rest positions to the flight deck.

On January 23, 1967, just six weeks after receiving its first Globemaster, the Ga. ANG began its first over-water mission flying 26,000 pounds of equipment to Antigua. By March 10, four additional flights had been completed to Antigua all by the 128th Military Airlift Squadron.[5] The enormous range of the C-124 soon allowed the Ga. ANG to support a Joint Chiefs of Staff mission to Spain March 21, 1967. On April 1, 1967, a C-124 crew completed the first of many flights bearing cargo to Vietnam.[6] The 14-day round trip flight from Dobbins AFB carried more than 20,000 pounds of cargo from Travis AFB, Calif. to Da Nang in South Vietnam and returned with 17,000 pounds of cargo.

On April 1, 1967 a Ga. ANG C-124 made the first of many flights to Vietnam. Georgia Air National Guard crews had previously flown air transport missions
to Vietnam with the C-97 Stratofreighter. Georgia National Guard Archives.

On July 1968, the 165th MAG executed an airlift of 402 Soldiers of the 170th and 176th MP Battalions from Fort Stewart to Dobbins AFB. Seven C-124 Globemaster aircraft transported the Soldiers along with 35 military vehicles.[7]

Over the years, the Ga. Air National Guard would continue to rack up historic firsts in the C-124. In December 1969, a Georgia C-124 crew became the first in Air National Guard history to fly completely around the South American continent. The feat was accomplished while supporting a special assignment airlift mission in support of Operation Deep Freeze 1969.[8] The Guardsmen flew more than 50 military and civilian scientists along with three tons of scientific instruments to Punta Arenas, Chile where a Coast Guard icebreaker was waiting to transport them to Antarctica.

Georgia Air National Guard C-124 Globemasters deliver more than 400 Ga. ARNG Military Police and 35 vehicles during an airlift exercise from
Fort Stewart to Dobbins AFB July 9, 1968. Georgia National Guard Archives.

The Globemaster continued to serve as the workhorse of the Ga. ANG into the 1970s beginning in May when civil unrest in Augusta, Ga. prompted the governor to activate the Georgia National Guard. Three Ga. ANG C-124s delivered the 2nd Battalion 214th Field Artillery under the command of Col. John McGowan to Augusta May 12, 1970.[9]

On Aug. 26, 1970, C-124 Globemaster 52-1049 of the Georgia Air National Guard’s 165th Military Airlift Group crashed into the side of Mount Pavlof while en route from McChord Air Force Base, Wash. to Cold Bay, Alaska with a cargo of satellite equipment. The crashed killed all seven crewmembers.[10]

From Globemaster to Hercules

Military maneuvers of the 30th Division in Tennessee in 1972 saw the C-124s called to transport Ga. ARNG personnel and equipment to training sites. By that time, the age of the Globemaster frame and scarcity of available parts weighed heavily in the decision to seek a new airframe for Georgia. Governor Jimmy Carter and Maj. Gen. Joel Paris, Georgia’s Adjutant General, along with senior leaders of the Ga. ANG met with National Guard Bureau and U.S. Air Force officials regarding possible aircraft or mission changes. The preferred course of action was to retain the MAT mission with C-130s phasing in. But the C-130 was in short supply and the Air Force Reserve’s 918th Military Airlift Wing based at Dobbins AFB had already been allocated C-130s the previous year.[11] National Guard Bureau preferred to convert the Ga. ANG to fly the F-100 Super Sabre effective April 1973. [12] Enlisting the aid of Georgia’s congressional delegation Carter and Paris successfully negotiated to maintain the airlift mission for the 165th.[13]

A C-124 Globemaster delivers vehicles and personnel to Tennessee for maneuvers of the 30th Division in 1972. Georgia National Guard Archives.

Final Flight

Two years would pass before the arrival of the C-130 Hercules. The first C-130 arrived in Savannah Aug. 8, 1974.[14] The following month, two veteran C-124 crews led by Lt. Col. Arthur Eddy, safety officer of the 165th and Lt. Col. Edgar D. Benson, 165th MAG Air Force advisor, delivered the last two C-124 Globemasters to Davis-Monthan they went into mothball storage. It would be Benson’s last flight as he was set to retire the following spring. Among the veteran crew members was flight engineer SMSgt. Thomas L. Davis who was the last survivor of the Bataan Death March of World War II still in uniform.

Georgia Air National Guard SMSgt Thomas L. Davis (Center) was the last survivor of the Bataan Death March still in uniform. He retired following
the final flight of the C-124 Globemaster. Georgia National Guard Archives. 

By Dec. 10, 1974, the 165th had completed the conversion to the C-130 with eight aircraft assigned.[15] The 165th Airlift Wing continues to fly the C-130 airframe supporting missions across the globe.


[1] “Russell Praised in Wing Reorganization.” The Georgia Guardsman Magazine, Jan Feb 1960, 4.

[2] “First C-97 Stratofreighters Arrive for ANG.” The Georgia Guardsman Magazine, June 1961, 4.

[3] “Kuhn’s Fighter Gp in Historic Switch to Transport Role.” The Georgia Guardsman Magazine, January 1962, 1.

[4] “Ga ANG First to Get C-124s; 116th MAG Conversion Began 7 Dec.” The Georgia Guardsman Magazine, January 1967, 3.

[5] “Global Missions Begin for C124” The Georgia Guardsman Magazine,” Feb-Apr 1967, 6.

[6] “Lt. Col. C. J. Perkins, Ga. ANG Crew Take First C124 Mission to Vietnam.” The Georgia Guardsman Magazine, Feb-Apr 1967, 3.

[7] “Ga. Emergency Operations Headquarters Conducts Successful Airlift of MP’s.” The Georgia Guardsman Magazine. May-Aug 1968, 4.

[8] “Col Perkins’ ANG Crew Flies to Southernmost City in World; Mission Supports Polar Expedition.” The Georgia Guardsman Magazine, Sept Dec 1969, 6.

[9] “Governor Sends 2,000 Ga. Guardsmen to Augusta and Athens to Restore Calm in Wake of May Civil Disturbances.” The Georgia Guardsman Magazine. Apr.-Jun. 1970, 8-9.

[10] William Carraway. “Remembering the Ga. ANG Airmen of C-124 Globemaster 52-1049” History of the Georgia National Guard. Sept. 5, 2020.

[11] “Dobbins Units to Get C130s” The Atlanta Constitution. April 7, 1917, 8.

[12] “Georgia Air Guard Getting Supersonic Fighters.” The Atlanta Journal and Constitution. Sept. 4, 1972, 14.

[13] “Switch to Fighters Stirs Guard Debate.” The Atlanta Constitution, October 24, 1972.

[14]“Savannah’s 165th MAG Has New Mission Now That the C-130s are in.” Georgia Guardsman Magazine, Jul Aug 74, 10

[15] State of Georgia Department of Defense. Annual Report 1975.