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Loving, George G. 1923- (George G. Loving, Jr.)

Loving, George G. 1923- (George G. Loving, Jr.)


Born 1923, in Roanoke, VA. Education: Attended Lynchburg College; graduated from University of Alabama; George Washington University, master's degree.


Home—Williamsburg, VA. E-mail—[email protected]


U.S. Air Force, career officer, 1942-1977, retired as lieutenant general, 1979; during World War II served as fighter pilot in Europe; commanding officer, Itazuke Air Base, Japan, 1946; during Korean War served as base operations officer and commander of the Ninth Fighter-Bomber Squadron, Taegu, Korea; adviser to the Republic of China's National War College, 1960-62; commandant, Air Command and Staff College, 1970-73; commander, Sixth Allied Tactical Air Force, Izmir, Turkey, 1975-77; commander, U.S. Forces Japan and Fifth Air Force, 1977-79. Also served as test pilot, instructor, and in many command staff positions. Research associate, Council on Foreign Relations, 1969-1970.


Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with 24 oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, Army Commendation Medal, Presidential Unit Citation with oak leaf cluster, and the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation.


Woodbine Red Leader: A P-51 Mustang Ace in the Mediterranean Theater, Presidio Press (New York, NY), 2003.


Before his retirement in 1979, Lieutenant General George G. Loving had been an active officer in the U.S. Air Force for thirty-seven years. Born in Roanoke, Virginia, in 1923, he joined the service at the start of the U.S. involvement in World War II in 1942, and trained as a fighter pilot. During his distinguished career, he was stationed all over the world, serving as a test and fighter pilot, flight instructor, staff officer and commander, and advisor.

Loving was stationed in Japan with the occupation forces for a time, then volunteered for combat duty during the Korean conflict. The latter part of his career included stints as U.S. adviser to the Republic of China's National War College, staff and command positions at Headquarters Tactical Air Command at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia and Headquarters U.S. Air Force in the Aerospace Doctrine Division, and command of U.S. Air Force operations in Turkey and Japan. Loving is credited with creating publications for the Air Force that provide the basic fundamentals for organizing, training, equipping, and employing U.S. military forces during wartime.

Loving's first book, Woodbine Red Leader: A P-51 Mustang Ace in the Mediterranean Theater, encompasses memoirs of his early career, flying missions as a fighter pilot throughout Europe during the later stages of World War II. He writes about his experiences as a new recruit to the Army Air Forces and recounts the details of his training as a pilot and what it was like to fly combat missions. Loving's unit first flew as combat ground support, then, when issued newer aircraft, began flying missions to escort bombers to their targets. He became a squadron leader and was promoted to captain before he was twenty-one.

One of Loving's stories involves his squadron's part in Operation Frantic, which tried to use Russian bases as a turn-around point for fighters and bombers. Its intent was to increase the bombers' range when attacking targets in Eastern Europe. Loving's group provided escort as they made runs over Italy, Southern France, Czechoslovakia, Germany, and other occupied Eastern European countries. Although they were primarily escorts, Loving and his comrades were also fighter pilots. Loving himself shot down five and damaged two enemy aircraft.

Daniel R. Mortensen, in his review of Woodbine Red Leader for the Air & Space Power Journal, enjoyed both the historic and personal perspectives in the book, praising it for giving the "context of air combat in World War II." He highly recommended the memoir, writing that it "not only is enlightening but also extremely well written."



Loving, George G., Red Leader: A P-51 Mustang Ace in the Mediterranean Theater, Presidio Press (New York, NY), 2003.


Air & Space Power Journal, fall, 2004, Daniel R. Mortensen, review of Woodbine Red Leader.


Air Force Link, (March 5, 2008), author profile.

Woodbine Red Leader, (March 5, 2008).

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