Lt. Gen. Charles G. “Chick” Cleveland, USAF
“As a junior birdman, I never thought about becoming an ace until I had four confirmed kills,” says Cleveland. “Then I wanted to get that last confirmed victory, which didn’t happen until January 2008, when the Air Force officially recognized one of my two probables in 1952 as a confirmed [kill].” The late confirmation, based on documentation discovered in Russian military archives and eyewitness accounts from Cleveland’s wingman, made him the 40th jet ace of the Korean War.
Like many U. S. Air Force pilots, Cleveland loved flying North American’s F-86 Sabre. “It was the Cadillac of fighters in its day,” he says. “I felt very much at home and in command in the cockpit.”