Wheels up!

This is the record of my search for my dad’s military records, an attempt to preserve the photos, military records, personnel records and other files I’ve uncovered, in trying to pass along this legacy to my children and grandchildren, as well as my brother’s children and grandchildren. I’ll also be including my own memories of things he told me before he passed 1 November 2004.


Unit websites

475th FG



More info on a mid-air collision in Japan

From Bill Butler:

Both were taken at Itami AB, Japan I believe.  The tail number (serial number) on the one could be either 44-74286 or 44-74296.  Interestingly enough, both aircraft with those tail numbers were assigned at Itami during the period your father was there.  The 296 was involved in a bad crash later in December, and was a total loss.

… the 433 FS was temporarily attached to the 347th Fighter Group from Nov 1947-Aug 1948, which is when the squadron moved to Itazuke in Nov 1947.


December 1947 USAF Accident Reports


KMAC Killed, Mid Air Collision
471228  P-51D  44-73711 433FS 347FG Itazuke AAB, JPN 5 KMAC 4 Oline, Richard A JPN 75M WSW Itazuke, JPB
471228  P-51D  44-74296 433FS 347FG Itazuke AAB, JPN 5 KMAC 4 Ristich, Alex E JPN 75M WSW Itazuke, JPB

Korea 1946

My dad worked as a P-51 mechanic during the Korean conflict.


Itami, Osaka, Japan, 1947


Commendation and Promotion, Alconbury RAF 1962

commendation raf alconbury
Commendation medal, RAF Alconbury, 1962
Chief 1962
Chief 1962

Offutt AFB, Nebraska, 1970

Here are two photos taken at SAC headquarters, Offutt AFB, Nebraska. The one with me in it shows us in front of one of his favorite cars, a Morris Minor he bought for $50. The second one shows him on his retirement day, February 26, 1970.