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James Jabara
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Military Personnel
    (October 10, 1923-November 17, 1966)
    Born in Muskogee, Oklahoma
    United States Air Force pilot and America's first jet 'ace'
    Scored 16 & 1/2 'kills' in WWII and Korea
    Winner of the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Distinguished Service Cross, and the Silver Star twice
    Namesake of an airport in Wichita, Kansas and Jabara Award given to outstanding USAF Academy graduates
    Flew 108 combat missions during WWII and 163 during Korea
    He smoked cigars (his nickname was 'The Ceegar Kid') and always had one after every mission.
    He was careless on defense when attacking and was twice almost shot down when enemy fighters slipped up on him during attacks.
    The Air Force used him extensively for publicity; embarrassingly enough he received his Distinguished Service Cross at a baseball game.
    He never attended college, joining the then Army Air Corps right out of high school.
    He was a courageous and skilled pilot who dedicated his entire adult life to the service of his country and the fight against tyranny in the form of Nazism and Communism.
    He was almost turned down for flight school due to his five foot five inch height.
    He scored his jet 'kills' while flying the F-86 against the technically superior MIG-15.
    In one savage encounter during WWII, a German pilot shot off his canopy before Jabara was able to shoot him down.
    When he made colonel, he was the youngest colonel in the USAF.
    He and his daughter were tragically killed in a car accident.
    His parents were poor immigrants from Lebanon so he had to overcome racial prejudice growing up.

Credit: tom_jeffords

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