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Herb Ross

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Dave Baxter

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I just Read this book as the P-38 was my favorite WW II fighter plane,


So how many knew him? He built quite a few Pitts Special's back in the 70s and 80s, he was also good friends with Bob Herendeen, Frank Christensen, Wayne Handley, and Sean Tucker. He and Wes Ament a TWA Capt flew airshows together in a dual Pitts act. It would be interesting to know how many Pitts biplanes he built I think according to his book it was about six. The ones I have a good N numbers for are N3263 it is currently lised as airworthy to a Chris Reeder of Loomis CA, N4HR, also with a current airworthy cert to Jay Yau of Torrance CA and N15HR, that is listed as destroyed. Does anyone have pictures and N Numbers for the other Pitts airplanes he built.

Herb also enjoyed a long career as a stunt pilot, performing in air shows around the country in his Pitts Special and Christian Eagle high-performance airplanes. Around his neighborhood, Herb became well known as the "crazy guy who builds airplanes in the garage." Working from kits, Herb built his stunt planes in his garage in Lincoln Village West. As a fledgling, rural area in the late 1960s, Herb didn't hesitate to taxi his airplanes down his street.

He was from Stockton, California I wonder if he would recognize Stockton today...​


During World War II, Herbert Ross became a U.S. Army Air Forces ACE, credited with shooting down 7 enemy aircraft in aerial combat. After the war he transferred to the new U.S. Air Force, flew in the Korean War, and retired in 1967 as a Colonel.

Battalion: 48th Fighter Squadron
(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Major (Air Corps) Herbert Erskine Ross (ASN: 0-421322), United States Army Air Forces, was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action against the enemy as a Fighter Pilot of the 48th Fighter Squadron, 14th Fighter Group, FIFTEENTH in action against the enemy in aerial combat in the Mediterranean Theater of Action during World War II. His gallant actions and dedicated devotion to duty, without regard for his own life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army Air Forces.

HERBERT ROSS OBITUARY​


Stockton, CA

Col. Herbert E. Ross (Ret)

September 5, 1919 - July 20, 2008

Herbert E. Ross passed away in his home on July 20, 2008 following a year-and-a-half-long battle with cancer. He was 88. Herbert, known to most as "Bud," was born in Stockton in 1919 to John and Alice Ross. Herb grew up in Stockton, and fell in love with airplanes at a very young age. His love of aircraft began with small balsa wood models, but grew into his becoming an accomplished pilot and United States Air Force Colonel. In 1967, he retired from the Air Force as a Full Colonel following a 25-year celebrated military career. At the time of his death, Herb was the only living Air Force Ace in Stockton, having recently completed and published a book of his memoirs titled "Adventures of a P38 Ace."


With a dual passion for music as a teen, Herb raised money for flight school by playing the piano in restaurants, nightclubs and in small combos. When he had enough saved to take flying lessons, he enrolled at the Orange Brothers Airport, flying a J-3 Piper Cub. He was a senior in high school at the time, and simultaneously played in the high school band and organized a dance band. After graduating, he enrolled at Stockton Junior College with the goal of majoring in music. In the late spring of 1940, Herb had finished his second year of college, and trouble was brewing in Europe. Talk of the draft began, and upon meeting an army colonel one afternoon and learning about Advanced Flying School, Herb took an interest. After passing a physical and signing up, he was called to report to Hemet California Primary Flight School on or before Oct. 16, 1940.


Upon reporting to flight school, Herb was assigned to Class 41E and was to fly PT-13D Stearman's. He was taught about the traditions, regulations and discipline of the Army Air Corps. He worked his way up through flight school, ground school and then Advanced Flying School, and had a growing interest in - and talent for -- becoming a fighter pilot. Upon graduation from Advanced Flight School, Herb became a 2nd Lt. and was sent to March Field near Riverside, California, as a member of the 48th Squadron, 14th Fighter Group.


Six months later, he married his wife of 53 years, Ruth Helen Garner, and in 1943, she gave birth to their first child, Karl Herbert Ross. On August 26, 1943, Herb senior shot down his fifth enemy aircraft and became an Ace in his P38, named "Little Karl" after his baby son. Two years later, Herb and Ruth had a second child, daughter Sandra Jo, and in 1960, had a late-in-life third child, daughter Ronni.


As his career progressed, Herb continued to be promoted through the ranks, receiving 16 Air Medals during WWII, as well as such honors as the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross and many Service medals. He was Commander of the 80th Squadron during the Korean conflict, and after several overseas tours and assignments as a Group, Wing and Division Commander, he retired from the Air Force as a Full Colonel in 1967.


His flying career certainly didn't end at that time, however. Upon retirement, Herb went back to school, graduating from the University of the Pacific with honors and a degree in Business. He continued to fly as a civilian pilot and flight instructor, and taught Private Pilot Ground School, Meteorology and aviation-related courses at San Joaquin Delta College for 15 years. His degree came in handy as he developed Herbert Ross Aviation Enterprises, a business in which he built and sold airplane parts on consignment, and also ferried prominent individuals up and down the state and even across the country as the need arose.


Herb also enjoyed a long career as a stunt pilot, performing in air shows around the country in his Pitts Special and Christian Eagle high-performance airplanes. Around his neighborhood, Herb became well known as the "crazy guy who builds airplanes in the garage." Working from kits, Herb built his stunt planes in his garage in Lincoln Village West. As a fledgling, rural area in the late 1960s, Herb didn't hesitate to taxi his airplanes down his street.


On September 5, 2005, Herb turned 86, and was still able to pass his Class Two Flight Physical exam, thus extending his stint as a pilot to more than 70 years. In 1998, at age 78, Herb performed in the Stockton Air Show called "Wings Over Stockton," which was held as a tribute to Bob Hope, who Herb met in 1943 in North Africa. When Hope was on a USO Tour, Herb was responsible for shuttling him around in his P38. The two were reunited again at the Air Show after 55 years.


Though flying took the forefront in the life of Herb, music never left the scene. He continued to play the piano throughout his life, often performing with military bands while on active duty. Herb resumed piano lessons later in life, and continued to play up until about a year ago, when he no longer could. Herb was also an active member of Quail Lakes Baptist Church for many years, served as a Federal Aviation Administration investigator and was a member of the local chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association, which is named after him. Always the hobbyist, Herb most recently enjoyed building model airplanes and electric trains, collecting miniatures cars and planes, and attending jazz festivals and Air Force reunions with his longtime best friend and companion, Juanita Ferguson.


Herb is survived by his sister, Olive Gorham, his son, Karl Ross and daughters Sandra Fernandes and Ronni Wilde. He is also survived by seven grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, three nephews, several cousins and countless friends.


Services are as follows: Visitation will be held Friday, July 25 from 2 to 7 p.m. at DeYoung Memorial Chapel in Stockton, followed by the funeral service at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 26 at DeYoung Memorial. Burial with full military honors will take place at 11 a.m. at Park View Cemetery in French Camp, and a memorial luncheon celebration will be held at about Noon in the activity center of Quail Lakes Baptist Church.



Published by The Record from Jul. 24 to Jul. 25, 2008.

Dave
 

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