Innovation and Versatility: Reflections from the U.S. Army Air Forces’ 1st Air Commando Group in WWII
Charles Poston, decorated veteran of the 1st Air Commando Group, presents the inaugural event in the Aviation Speakers Series at ASU's Polytechnic campus. Poston will share recollections from his experience in WWII on Friday, Sept. 8, 2017, from 12-1:30 p.m. in Picacho Hall, Room 150.
After Charles Poston graduated from Louisiana State University with a major in electrical engineering and as a commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army Corps of Engineers, he volunteered for pilot training when called to active duty, then served as a fighter instructor in the P-47 Thunderbolt.
In 1944 Poston volunteered for overseas service with the 1st Air Commando Group (1ACG), where he became squadron gunnery officer, flying 78 combat missions over Burma in the P-47.
The 1st Air Commando Group, operating deep behind enemy lines, assisted Britain’s and India’s "Chindit" commandos in turning the tide in Burma during WWII. In the process, the 1ACG accomplished a number of aviation "firsts," including first combat aeromedical evacuations, the first use of helicopters for medevac, the first invasion of enemy territory solely from the air, the first use of air-to-ground rockets, and several others. All current US Air Force special operations units descended from the 1ACG.
During his service, Poston was awarded the Asiatic Pacific Medal with two Campaign stars, American Victory Medal, the Air Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Distinguished Flying Cross.
After his military service, he became national sales manager of the Electric Motor Division of A.O. Smith Corp., from which he retired in 1986.
The fall 2017 Aviation Speakers Series events are organized by ASU's College of Integrative Sciences and Arts, Faculty of Interdisciplinary Humanities and Communication.