Remembering a Korean War Hero: Captain Elliot Dean Ayer, USAF

From Master Sergeant to Captain

When the North Koreans invaded South Korea on June 25, 1950, the peacetime Air Force was suddenly short on pilots. Master Sergeant Ayer was “discharged” on 13 May 1951 to “accept active duty as a commissioned officer.” The very next day he was again Captain Ayer.

Captain Elliot D. Ayer, USAF, How Flight Leader, 67th FBS, 18th FBW, at K-46 Forward Operating Base, 1952.

Following refresher training, he was assigned to the 67th Fighter-Bomber Squadron, a combat squadron of the 18th FB Wing which had been the first very first Air Force units to be sent into Korean in July 1951.

On 5 July 1952, Major Stanley Long, Commander of the 67th Fighter-Bomber Squadron completed an “Officer Effectiveness Report” on Captain Elliott D. Ayer covering the period 11 April 1952 through 30 June 1952. As a Flight Leader (1124E), Captain Ayer “leads flights of single-engine fighter aircraft to obtain air superiority over the enemy. Receives instructions regarding mission, route, formation, altitude, weather conditions and other information; accomplishes mission by offensive action. Flies on strafing, interceptor, patrol, escort or protective missions.” Long’s overall evaluations of Ayer were consistently in the “excellent” column of the evaluation.

“Officer reported on,” Long noted, “is a well experienced Flight Commander who has demonstrated qualities of good leadership throughout his tour under my supervision. He has an excellent flying safety record. I would recommend further assignment in positions of great responsibility for this officer. He exercises a high degree of judgment in the economical management of personnel and resources under his supervision, commensurate with his responsibilities.”

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