Would you like to help honor a WWII Triple Ace? Then sign up to attend the Aero Club of Northern California's Crystal Eagle Award dinner on October 22 at the Hiller Museum at San Carlos Airport. You'll find full details at http://www.aeroclubnorcal.org/CrystalEagle_Next.html At the dinner, you can also bid on many cool aviation items in the silent auction, that raises money for aviation scholarships.
C. E. “Bud” Anderson, a triple ace who scored 16.25 aerial victories over German Luftwaffe aircraft while flying the P-51 Mustang “Old Crow’’ in the World War II skies of Europe, will be the 29th recipient of the Crystal Eagle Award, presented annually by the Aero Club of Northern California to honor those whose achievements are among the highest in aviation.
The San Jose-based aero club will hold the awards dinner at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, at the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos. The club is the regional affiliate of the National Aeronautic Association.
Anderson, who was born in Oakland, enlisted in the U.S. Army as an aviation cadet in 1942. After earning his wings and commission as a second lieutenant, he flew two combat tours against the Luftwaffe in Europe.
Assigned to the 363rd Fighter Squadron of the 357th Fighter Group at RAF Leiston, England, he became the group’s third leading ace. In his P-51 Mustang, he flew 116 missions without being hit by fire from enemy aircraft and without turning back from any mission.
In his 30 years of military service, Anderson flew more than 100 types of aircraft, logging more than 7,000 hours flight time. He was a test pilot and chief of fighter operations at Wright Field, chief of flight test operations and deputy director of flight test at Edwards Air Force Base, and served two tours at the Pentagon.
Anderson commanded three fighter organizations including in 1970 the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing in Vietnam. He retired as a colonel in 1972, then managed the McDonnell Aircraft Company’s flight test facility at Edwards AFB until 1984.
Anderson co-authored the book “To Fly & Fight -- Memoirs of a Triple Ace’’ in 1990. In 2008, he was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame.
The Aero Club also will present National Aeronautic Association Certificate awards to Bob Overby, managing director of Jeppesen Data Plan in San Jose, and longtime Hayward FBO Mike Coutches, for their life-long contributions to the advancement of flight.