Summary

A veteran of WWII, Jabara became America's first jet ace of the Korean War.

Conflict Period:
Korean War 1
Branch:
Air Force 1
Rank:
Major 1
Birth:
10 Oct 1923 2
Muskogee, Oklahoma 3
Death:
17 Nov 1966 3
Delray Beach, Florida 3
More…

Related Pages

+
View more similar pages

Pictures & Records (10)

Add Show More

Personal Details

Edit
Full Name:
James Jabara 1
Birth:
10 Oct 1923 2
Muskogee, Oklahoma 2
Death:
17 Nov 1966 2
Delray Beach, Florida 2
Cause: Car crash 2
Burial:
Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia 2
Edit
Marriage:
Nina Stiles Kepple 3
Edit

Korean War 1

Branch:
Air Force 1
Rank:
Major 1
Medals:
Distinguished Service Cross; Silver Star 2
Missions:
163 4
Victories:
15 5

Other Service 2

Branch:
Air Force 2
Rank:
Colonel 2
Service Start Date:
1943 2
Service End Date:
1966 2

World War II 1

Branch:
Army Air Forces 1
Rank:
Captain 6
Service Start Date:
1943 1
Medals:
Distinguished Flying Cross; Air Medal 2
Victories:
1.5 5

Looking for more information about James Jabara?

Search through millions of records to find out more.

Stories

Distinguished Service Cross citation

The President of the United States of America, under the provisions of the Act of Congress approved July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Captain James Jabara, United States Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United Nations while serving with the 334th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, 4th Fighter-Interceptor Wing, FIFTH Air Force, in action against enemy forces in the Republic of Korea on 20 May 1951, while flying as an element leader in "Baker" Flight, a formation of six aircraft flying a combat patrol over the Sinuiju-Yalu River area. Shortly after arriving over his target area, a superior number of enemy high performance jet aircraft were sighted. When the drop tank signal was given, two of the friendly aircraft were forced to withdraw because they could not jettison their external drop tanks. Captain Jabara was unable to release one of his tanks and was about to withdraw when he sighted another, larger group of enemy fighters join the original group which was bearing down on the remaining element of his flight. Despite the difficulty of controlling his aircraft with one tank still hanging on, Captain Jabara led his element in an attack on the enemy aircraft. In the ensuing battle Captain Jabara successfully disrupted the enemy formation and turned the tide of the engagement in favor of the friendly forces. During the attack on this formation he destroyed one enemy aircraft, forcing the pilot to eject from his aircraft before the enemy aircraft exploded in mid-air. Breaking off from his attack, he sighted another enemy formation preparing to attack friendly aircraft. Although low on fuel, alone and outnumbered six to one, he flew into their midst to divert them from their objective. During this process he shot down a second MIG-15, bringing his number of kills to six and making him the first jet ace in history.

General Orders: General Headquarters Far East Command: General Orders No. 131 (May 22, 1951)

Action Date: 20-May-51

Service: Air Force

Rank: Captain

Company: 334th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron

Regiment: 4th Fighter-Interceptor Wing

Division: 5th Air Force

Silver Star citation

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Captain James Jabara, United States Air Force, for gallantry in action against an armed enemy of the United Nations while serving with the 334th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, 4th Fighter-Interceptor Wing, FIFTH Air Force, in action against enemy forces in the Republic of Korea, on two consecutive missions, 10 and 12 April 1951. On 10 April 1951, Captain Jabara led his squadron through adverse weather conditions to the target area at Sinuiju, Korea, without visual reference to the ground. To effectively accomplish his mission, Captain Jabara descended through the overcast from 38,000 feet to 12,000 feet whereupon he deployed his squadron for maximum combat effectiveness. When a large formation of enemy jet aircraft was sighted he immediately pressed the attack. His attacks were so vicious that one of the enemy pilots was forced to abandon his plane and parachute to safety. Although his aircraft was low on fuel and no ammunition remained, Captain Jabara returned to the target area where he reassembled his squadron and led them to the home base. On 12 April 1951, Captain Jabara was leading his flight of F-86 aircraft on a B-29 escort mission in the Sinuiju-Yalu river area. When enemy aircraft attacked the bombing formation, Captain Jabara displayed exemplary tactical utilization of his forces. By vicious counter-attacks, Captain Jabara's flight repelled the enemy, forcing then to withdraw across the Yalu river. During these relentless attacks, Captain Jabara destroyed one of the enemy aircraft attacking the bombers. Captain Jabara's gallantry, determination to accomplish his assigned mission, and complete disregard for his own personal safety was in the highest traditions of the service, and brought great credit upon himself, the Far East Air Forces, and the United States Air Force.

General Orders: Headquarters, Far East Air Forces, General Orders No. 262 (June 7, 1951)

Action Date: April 10 & 12, 1951

Service: Air Force

Rank: Captain

Company: 334th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron

Regiment: 4th Fighter-Interceptor Wing

Division: 5th Air Force

America's first jet ace

On 20 May 1951, Captain James Jabara became America’s first jet ace during the Korean War when he scored his 5th and 6th victories in MiG Alley. When one of his auxiliary fuel tanks failed to detach, Jabara was supposed to have returned to base, but since he could still control his plane, he had decided to enter the battle with the MiGs nonetheless so that he could try to score ace status. After the fight, his plane was so low on fuel that he had to glide to base, turning the engine on to land. For his actions and becoming the first jet ace, Jabara received the Distinguished Service Cross.

About this Memorial Page

×