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Old 7th January 2011, 04:33
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Mysticpuma Mysticpuma is offline
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Major General Gordon H. Austin, original GC of the 325thFG "Checkertail Clan" has passed away.

I had the chance to meet and interview him in late-September 2009 and am lucky I had the chance to do so and privileged.

Here is some information regarding his life and cause of death on December 18th 2010;

Gordon H. Austin, Air Force General

Gordon H. Austin, 97, an Air Force major general who, during a 30-year career, was responsible for the air defense of Alaska and the United States' Eastern region, died Dec. 18 of congestive heart failure at his home in Alexandria.

Gen. Austin had been commander of the 11th Air Division with responsibility for Alaska's air defense, and later was commander of the Eastern region of the North American Aerospace Defense Command.

He retired from the Air Force in 1966 and settled in 1968 in Alexandria.

Gordon Harrison Austin was born in Davenport, Iowa. He graduated in 1936 from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He was later transferred to Hawaii, where he became a squadron commander at Wheeler Army Airfield. He survived the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.

As a fighter pilot during World War II, Gen. Austin flew 100 combat hours with the 325th Fighter Group also known as the "Checkertail Clan". He later commanded a B-26 bomber group.

He graduated from the National War College in Washington in 1953 and then was assigned to Alaska. He later became the senior Air Force representative to NATO, until taking his command at NORAD.

Gen. Austin's military decorations included the Silver Star, which he received for shooting down multiple enemy aircraft while escorting U.S. bombers during an air raid in North Africa. He also received the Legion of Merit and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Gen. Austin enjoyed the outdoors and taking trips to an island he owned on Lake Huron.

Joyce Tedman Austin, his wife of 44 years, died in 1994.

A son, Edmund Austin, died in 1973 .

Survivors include his wife of 15 years, Billie Little Austin of Alexandria; two children from his first marriage, Betsy Austin of Waterbury Center, Vt., and Sally Bohlin of Waverly, Pa.; two stepchildren, Bill Tedards of Tucson and Ann Tedards of Eugene, Ore.; nine grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Friends may call at Everly-Wheatley Funeral Home, 1500 W. Braddock Rd., Alexandria, VA 22302 on Tuesday, March 8, 2011 from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, March 9, 2011 at 11 a.m. at Fort Myer's Old Post Chapel with interment to follow at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Disabled American.

Thought I'd pass on the sad news.

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