Saturday, October 13, 2012

TFH 10/13: Captain Jeffrey S. Feinstein, USAF

Jeffrey S. Feinstein was born on January 29, 1945 in Chicago, Illinois. He enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1963 to attend the Air Force Academy Preparatory School. He was admitted to the United States Air Force Academy the following year and graduated with the class of 1968, receiving his commission as a Second Lieutenant.

Feinstein then went through both navigator and weapons system officer (WSO) training, reaching operational duty with McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II squadrons in February of 1970. In 1972, he was flying as part of the 13th Tactical Fighter Squadron from Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base in combat over Vietnam. Between April and July of 1972, he was credited as an F-4 WSO with four aerial victories against enemy aircraft.

On October 13, 1972 - exactly forty years ago today - then Captain Feinstein aimed and fired an AIM-7 Sparrow missile, got his fifth "kill", and became the last (thus far) "Ace" of the USAF. He received the second-highest award he could have for his skill and courage in the skies: the Air Force Cross.

From Military Times' Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Title 10, Section 8742, United States Code, takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Captain Jeffrey S. Feinstein, United States Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as an F-4D Weapon Systems Officer in the 13th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 388th Tactical Fighter Wing, Korat Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand, in action against the Paul Doumer Bridge, a major north-south transportation link on Hanoi's Red River in North Vietnam, on 13 October 1972. On that date, while protecting a large strike force attacking a high priority target deep in hostile territory, Captain Feinstein engaged two enemy aircraft and destroyed one as they attacked the vulnerable chaff-dispensing flight. Having destroyed one of the aircraft and realizing that his wingman was coming under fire, Captain Feinstein continued his attack on the second enemy aircraft. This courageous and aggressive maneuver negated the immediate threat to his wingman and caused the second MiG-21 to flee the area in which he would constitute a threat to the strike forces. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Captain Feinstein reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Feinstein was also a four-time recipient of the Silver Star - and five-time of the Distinguished Flying Cross - all for his Vietnam War service. He also received one award of the Legion of Merit during his career. Feinstein later received a vision waiver and became a pilot and continued to serve in the Air Force until the mid-1990s. He served as an air control officer onboard Boeing E-3 Sentry AWACS aircraft during Desert Shield and Desert Storm and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel on July 1, 1996.

In 2007, Feinstein was present at the Air Force Academy when a plaque was placed in his honor outside his old student room. He is still living.

Today, the 13th Fighter Squadron is part of the 35th Operations Group, 35th Fighter Wing at Misawa Air Base in Japan. They fly the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.