39th Bomb Group (VH)

[Search Tip: Use " " for better search results ex. "John Q. Doe"; "City of ..."]
1st Lt. Asa Edwards
Douglas Wingo, Nav (L) and Asa Edwards (R), in Hawaii while on R & R August 1945

Asa B. Edwards,"Ace", died Sunday, February 27, 2000. He was born on June 5, 1922, in Albuquerque, the son of Lelia and Asa Edwards. Ace grew up in Albuquerque, graduated from Albuquerque High School in 1940, and began work in the Albuquerque National Bank.

When WWII began, he joined the Army Air Corps and, following Aviation Cadet and Bombardier training joined the 39th Bomb Group as a Bombardier in a B29 Superfortress. As part of the 39th Bomb Group, he deployed to Guam where he flew numerous combat missions in the Pacific, including Japan.

Following the war, he converted to reserve status and returned to Albuquerque to work again at the Albuquerque National Bank. In 1949, he married Eva L. Jennings of Clovis, N.M.

When the Korean War started, Ace was recalled to active duty and flew combat missions in Korea, again in the B29. Following the Korean War, he remained in the Air Force as a career officer with a career that spanned 33 years of service to his country and assignments throughout the United States, England, Germany, and Korea.

He finished his Air Force career with two successive tours as Communications Squadron Commander and finally as a Deputy Group Commander at McClellan AFB in Sacramento, CA.

He retired from military service in 1975 at the rank of Colonel. His decorations include the Legion of Merit, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Meritorious Service Medal, three Air Medals, and two Air Force Commendation Medals plus numerous campaign ribbons from his combat service in two wars.

In 1976, following the death of his wife, Eva, he returned home to Albuquerque to live. In 1978, he married Barbara Dixon, a lifelong resident of Albuquerque. After a few years living on the northeast side of town, he and Barbara found a special southwestern style house in the northwest of Albuquerque, which they bought and began working to turn into a showplace for southwestern living. They did much of the work themselves, taking advantage of Barbara's artistic abilities and Ace's know how or ability to learn to do anything. He and Barbara continued to live in this house to this date.

Asa Edwards will be remembered as a loving husband and father, deeply committed to his family, as a patriot that served his country for over three decades, and as a good friend to many who knew him well and others who only knew him in passing. He will be missed by all.

APO 234, c/o Postmaster
San Francisco California

6 August 1945
NO . . . . 24 )  
Section XXIX


       AWARD OF THE DISTINGUISHED-FLYING CROSS--By direction of the President, under the provisions of the Act of Congress approved 2 July 1926 (Bull 8, WD, 1926), and pursuant to authority delegated by Headquarters United States Army Strategic Air Forces in classified letter, file 323, subject: "Delineation of Administrative Responsibilities", dated 16July 1945, announcement is made of, the award of the Distinguished-Flying Cross to the following named officers and enlisted men of the 60th Bombardment Squadron, 39th Bombardment Group.

       For extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight on 10 May 1945. These individuals were crew members of a B-29 based in the Marianas Islands which led and entire bombardment wing on a highly successful raid against a heavily defended priority target, Otake oil refinery and storage area on the island of Honshu, Japan. From the assembly point, their formation was attacked by thirty-six fighters. Throughout the bomb run, intense and accurate anti-aircraft fire was thrown up by the island's defenders a high wind far in excess of the velocity anticipated, complicated the task of these crew members. In spite of this fierce opposition, they preformed their duties so capably that all the bombs from their aircraft landed within 1000 feet of the aiming points; they touched off the formation's attack so well that ninety-five percent of the entire bomb load fell within this range. By their display of high courage and superior airmanship, they effectively carried out their assignments, contributing materially to the successful prosecution of the air war against Japan, thereby reflecting high credit on themselves and the Army Air Forces.

First Lieutenant Asa B. Edwards, xxxxxxx, Air Corps, United States Army, as Bombardier.

First Lieutenant Douglas H. Wingo, xxxxxxxx, Air Corps, United States Army, Navigator.

Sources: "Albuquerque Journal"; photo from "History of the 39th Bomb Group" by Robert Laird, (crew 5) and David Smith (crew 31), GO24