Wednesday, April 26, 2006

This is super-cool

For all you 10 regular readers out there, please go check out this website. It is a biography of my grandfather, Rear Admiral Paul E. Pugh, the 6th CO of the USS Kitty Hawk, the world's first "super carrier." The bio calls my grandfather "Captain" Pugh. Though he was a Captain when he was the Kitty Hawk's CO, he earned two stars since then and retired in 1974 as a Rear Admiral.

Though the Kitty Hawk is considerably smaller than the Nimitz class carriers - like the USS Ronald Reagan and USS Abraham Lincoln, to name just two - it is still on active duty. Indeed, it is the longest serving aircraft carrier in the U.S. fleet. It is presently stationed in Japan - another unique feat - as it is the only U.S. aircraft carrier with its home port in another country - i.e., "permanently forward deployed."

Though my grandfather's bio stops with his stint as the Kitty Hawk's CO, he did lots of cool things after that. Hopefully, they'll update the website (I've offered to help them with the additional biographical information). The coolest thing in the bio now is the acknowledgement that "Captain Pugh was the first United Nations pilot to shoot down two MIG-15's." That would be the beginning of the Korean War, flying an F-86 Sabre Jet. What the website doesn't make clear, which it should, is that he shot down those two MIG-15s on the same day, meaning that he was the first U.N. pilot to shoot down a MIG-15, period.

Gramps is 86, doing relatively well, and living in Oceanside with Grandma, who is doing extremely well at age 84 (still golfs 2-3 times a week).


Blogger rogermbcr said...

According to the official record US Navy Lt Cdr Paul E. Pugh was an exchange pilot with the USAF 4th FIW flying F-86A-5 Sabres, when he shot down his first MiG-15 on 22 December, 1950. On 30 December 1950 he shot down his second MiG-15 making him the first US or UN pilot to shoot down two MiGs. However, 1st Lt. Russel Brown shot down a MiG-15 on the 8 November 1950 flying an F-80C Shooting Star making him the first victor of a jet vs. jet dogfight.

4:26 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

I stand corrected. The family lore tends to muddle the details, like a game of telephone. So Gramps was still the first to shoot down a MiG-15 with an F-86 and still the first to shoot down two MiG-15s.

6:11 PM  
Blogger lwhite1547 said...

I worked for Paul Pugh in Isfahan, Iran 1975 to 1978.

I was thinking the other day about all the bosses I've had over my career at Hughes and now Northrop Grumman, and he is at the top. I learned to led by example and not to pull rank. I'm curious if he will remember a Lt.Cmdr Barnes who flew into his Isfahan office, yelling about his house becuase he had his household goods on the tarmac.....
Paul listened to the Cmdr rant and rave while he smoked his ever present pipe.... One of the Grumman Housing Managers couldn't stop himself any longer, and said, :Admiral, what do you want us to do.."
We thought the Lt. Comdr was going to faint..... That was just one of many wonderful memories.

Who am I? I was a "trader" to the Hughes Softball teams and played outfield for the Grumman Hellcats".

Paul never said a word about it.. but did get even at a Hughes softball game. This smart-ass kid creep way in from left field and damn if he didn't smack a ball over my head.. ouch......

Larry White

4:29 PM  

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