Skip to main content
Edit entry 

George Purnell Birdsong Jr

Military

Flew 25 missions as pilot on 'Delta Rebel No2'.

Birdsong had been at college when he enlisted into the Air Corps in April 1942. He went on to pilot 'Delta Rebel' probably the first B-17 to complete 25 missions. He later served as Operations Officer of an air photo unit in Operation Crossroads and went on to fly B-29's in SAC. In 1953 he set a transatlantic record of five hours from Maine to the British Isles in a B-47 and was then the first SAC pilot to check out in the B-52. In 1968 he commanded the 633rd Operations Wing at Pleiku Air Base in South Vietnam flying 189 missions. After retiring from the Air Force in 1970 with the rank of Colonel he flew for two years as a charter pilot from Monterrey Peninsula Airport.

Service

People

  • Robert Abb

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Flew 25 missions on 'Delta Rebel #2'

  • B Byrd

    Military | Master Sergeant | Radio Operator | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Assigned to 323BS, 91BG, 8AF USAAF. Flew 25 x missions on B-17 42-5077 'Delta Rebel No. 2'. Awards: AM, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Henry Carter

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Flew 25 missions on 'Delta Rebel #2'

  • Harry Kulchesky

    Military | Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Flew 25 missions on 'Delta Rebel #2'

  • Ernest Miller

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Flew 25 missions on 'Delta Rebel #2'

  • Steven Perri

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Assigned to 323BS, 91BG, 8AF USAAF. ...

  • Randy Petersen

    Military | Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Flew 25 missions on 'Delta Rebel #2'

  • Eugene Remmell

    Military | Chief Master Sergeant | Flight Engineer; Top Turret Gunner | 450th Bomb Group
    Flew 25 missions on' Delta Rebel #2'. ...

  • Joseph Reynolds

    Military | First Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Flew 25 missions on 'Delta Rebel #2', died non battle. Awards: AM (OLC), PH.

Show more

Units served with

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force


    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    Group
    The 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated at Harding Field, Louisiana on 15-April-1942 and went to MacDill Field, Florida for the first phase of training from 16-May-1942 to 25-June-1942. The Group was then assigned to 2nd Air Force at Walla...

  • 323rd Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-5077 Delta Rebel No. 2

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Tulsa 15 September 1942, arrived in Bangor, Northern Ireland 11 October 1942; Assigned to the 323 Bomb Squadron/ 91st Bomb Group [coded OR-T] at Bassingbourn on 15 October 1942. On 1 May 1943, Delta Rebel No. 2 became the first B-17 Flying Fortress...

Associated Place

  • Bassingbourn

    Military site : airfield
    Now home to a museum all about the aifield and its USAAF residents (http://www.towermuseumbassingbourn.co.uk/) , Bassingbourn opened in 1938 as part of the RAF's pre-war expansion programme. The RAF continued to use it until late in 1942 when its long...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Clarksdale, Mississippi 12 October 1919

Son of George Purnell Birdsong Sr.

Enlisted Jackson, MS 4 September 1941

Jackson, Mississippi

Discharged USAF 31 October 1970

Honourable discharge.

Died Pleasanton, California, USA 9 July 2004

(aged 84)

Buried Arlington National Cemetery 4 October 2004

Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington, Virginia
Section 66 Site 2614

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
16 November 2020 20:05:37 Al_Skiff Changes to middlename, service number, biography, awards, events and place associations
Sources

https://www.fold3.com/image/659124876
https://www.fold3.com/image/312801881
https://www.fold3.com/image/659124876
https://www.fold3.com/record/709139148-birdsong-george-p
https://www.fold3.com/record/83982519-george-p-birdsong-jr
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/30594062/george-p.-birdsong

Date Contributor Update
21 August 2020 19:32:12 jmoore43 Changes to events
Sources

Added Died and Buried events per Find-a-grave Memorial ID 30594062.

Date Contributor Update
20 August 2020 23:29:48 decwriter Changes to awards
Sources

NARA files verified DFC w/1 oak leaf cluster and AM w/3 oak leaf clusters.

Date Contributor Update
20 August 2020 21:49:38 jmoore43 Changes to highest rank
Sources

Updated his rank per info in the "Summary biography".

Date Contributor Update
31 January 2020 11:42:33 general ira snapsorter Changes to biography
Sources

Biography completed by historian Helen Millgate. Information sourced from newsletters of the 91st Bomb Group related to the service of George Birdsong.

Date Contributor Update
23 March 2017 17:48:10 Al_Skiff Changes to unit associations, place associations and aircraft associations
Sources

Key Image ID.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:11:07 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia

Share