“Last Fighter Pilot” Has Gone West – Flew Last WWII Mission

Less than two weeks ago (12 days), Jerry Yellin, Army Air Force Fighter Pilot (February 15, 1924 – December 21, 2017), the man who flew the last combat mission of WWII, passed away.

Jerry had taken off from the small Pacific Atoll of Iwo Jima on August 15, 1945 in his P-51 Mustang.  He attacked airfields near Nagoya, Japan, before heading back to base.  Unfortunately, his wing man, Phillip Schlamberg, did not return and was presumed lost in that action.  An action, as it turned out, that became recorded as the last Air Force combat mission of WWII.

Here, below, is a short, then two longer video-taped interviews with this long-lived American WWII Fighter Pilot, interviews which helps fill in those last days of the great war, a world conflict whose still living combatants are rapidly disappearing into our history books, with few still remaining alive to describe their first-hand experiences.

Two years ago we did an Aviation News story about this fascinating gentleman, which featured a short interview. Here is a link to that previous post about Jerry,  which can be seen by simply clicking on this sentence.

The above clip of July 31, 2017, is only 3:48 in length, but a good introduction to this fascinating WWII Pilot.

This above video is longer (30:05), but provides more insight into this famous Fighter Pilot of WWII.  His interviewer in this clip is Don Brown, the co-author of the book about Jerry entitled “The Last Fighter Pilot.”

For the most comprehensive insight into Jerry, his experiences in WWII and in life, see this link’s portrayal of him on C-Span, when he was interviewed and spoke at length (42:33) during a ceremony in Yorba Linda, California’s Nixon Presidential Library.  The footage was made less than 7 weeks ago, the last known presentation by Captain Yellin, before he, in the parlance of aviators, “Has Gone West.”

This story was suggested to us by one of our FASF supporters and Aviation News Scouts in Northern California, Cordelia Clark.


Leave a Reply