New England Air Museum
Gust Askounis
Recent Address:
Hampton, VA
Email:
Family Information:
Parents: Anastasios and Stravroula; Wife: Elizabeth; Children: Anna, Christina, Gust, Catherine, Charles, and Venetha
Hometown:
Chicago, IL
Date Entered Service:
July 29, 1940
Service Number:
Bomb Group:
468th
Squadron:
794th
Location of Unit:
Salina, KS; CBI
Missions Flown:
Hump Missions Flown:
Targets:
Awards/Decorations:
Legion of Merit and Distinguished Flying Cross
Service Schools Attended:
Basic pilot training at Barksdale Field, La., in 1941. He graduated with the Cadet Flying Class 41-C at Randolph Field, Texas
Military Specialty(ies):
Rank Upon Discharge:
Crew Type:
Airplane Serial No.& Name:
Were you a POW?
No
Were you interned?
No
Date Transferred from the 58th:
Date Discharged from the 58th:
Post-WWII Military Service:
Following World War II, he transferred to the Flight Test Division at Wright Field near Dayton, Ohio. His mechanical, engineering and flying skills earned him a place among the elite group of pilots who staffed the flight test section at Edwards Air Force Base, where he was the first group commander. Among that group was Chuck Yeager and Frank "Pete" Evrest Jr.Col. Askounis worked in and around planes throughout his Air Force career, chiefly in the areas of materiel, munitions, maintenance and safety. He introduced mechanical and logistical innovations which resolved complex problems of major importance to the Air Force.He was Commander of the 6550th Operations Squadron, Patrick AFB, Air Research and Development Command; Director of Materiel for the Headquarters 313th Air Division, Headquarters 18th Fighter Bomb Wing and 18th Tactical Fighter Wing, Kadena AB, Okinawa, Pacific Air Force; and Director of Materiel of the 474th Tactical Fighter Wing and 832nd Air Division, Cannon AFB, Tactical Air Command
After serving as Director of Munitions and Weapons Systems Engineering and Maintenance at Tactical Air Command Headquarters, Langley Air Force Base, Col. Askounis served in Vietnam and was Deputy Director of Materiel and Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff, Materiel, at 7th Air Force Headquarters at Tan Son Nhut Air Base. He returned from Vietnam upon the death of his wife in 1966.His last major command was as Vice Commander of the 4500th Air Base Wing at Langley. He retired after 30 years of service in 1970.
Thoughts on the 58th Bomb Wing:
Major Askounis and his Crew returned to the USA for reassignment and left APO #493 on November 24th 1944 in A/C 42-6242 (Esso Express).  His was the first Crew of the 794th to return to the USA as a complete Crew.  A/C 42-6242 goes back to the USA with over 1,000 hours total time, which is over 300 hours more than any other B-29 tankers in this Group.
Comments:
Mr. Askouinis passed away October 31, 1996 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA.

 


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