IN MEMORY OF CAPTAIN JOSEPH C. McCONNELL, JR.; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 189
(Extensions of Remarks - November 26, 2019)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1511]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []



                             HON. PAUL COOK

                             of california

                    in the house of representatives

                       Tuesday, November 26, 2019

  Mr. COOK. Madam Speaker, I rise today to recognize and honor the life 
of United States Air Force Captain Joseph C. McConnell, Jr. Before his 
tragic death in a flight-testing accident, Captain McConnell served his 
country in both World War II and the Korean War, where he was a triple 
jet ace and still holds the American record for most jet kills.
  Captain McConnell entered the U.S. Army Air Forces in 1943 during 
World War II; flying 60 combat missions in Europe as a B-24 Liberator 
navigator. Following the war, he went on to earn his pilot wings in 
1948 and subsequently fought in the Korean War. Captain McConnell 
served as a pilot with the 39th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, 51st 
Fighter-Interceptor Wing, Fifth Air Force and was stationed at George 
Air Force Base in Victorville before being assigned to K13 in the 
Republic of Korea. Within four months, Capt. McConnell had shot down 16 
enemy fighter jets, becoming the leading jet ace of the Korean War and 
the first triple jet ace in American history. ``For his extraordinary 
heroism in connection with military operations'', President Eisenhower 
presented Capt. McConnell with the Distinguished Service Cross, the 
Nation's second highest decoration for valor. On August 25, 1954, Capt. 
McConnell was killed while service testing the newer, more powerful F-
86H Sabre at George Air Force Base.
  Captain McConnell's skill and daring over foreign battlefields in 
defense of our nation was unmatched during the Korean War. Although he 
was tragically taken from this earth far too early, his spirit lives on 
in the dedication and professionalism of the men and women of the 
United States Air Force that continue to follow in his footsteps today.