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Floyd Junior “Puff” Pugh

12/31/1920 – 3/16/09
Branch: Army Air Corps
Rank: Colonel
Unit: 8th Air Force
Outfit: 2nd Air Division
Service Dates: 1942 – 1972
County: Pettis
City: Sedalia, MO
Conflicts/Significant Events: World War II, Korea,Vietnam. After the attack on Pearl Harbor Puff enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps (which later became the United State Air Force) on Aug 6, 1942 in Des Moines, IA. During his career as a pilot in the USAF he flew B-24’s, B-25’s, B-29’s, B-36’s, B-47’s and B-52’s. He logged over 10,000 flying hours. From 1970 until his retirement Sep 1, 1972 he served as Base Commander at Whiteman Air Force Base. His many awards included Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with Three Oak Leaf Clusters, Presidential Unit citation with One Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

Story uploaded: Saturday, September 29, 2007 / updated Tuesday, September 19, 2023


Charles “Charlie” Palek

3/9/1949 – 4/26/2016
Branch: Army
Rank: E5
Outfit: 9th
Service Dates: 1967 – 1970

3 Purple Hearts, A Silver Star, A Bronze Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Combat Infantry Badge, 7 Air Medals and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry. He was a Gunner and Scout Helicopter Cambodia Wrote the Book “Tattletale”
Story uploaded: Friday, August 14, 2009 / Updated: Friday, May 26, 2023






Kenneth Wayne Thomason

3/3/1922 – 3/9/2015
Branch:  Army Air Corps 12th Air Force
Unit: 350th Fight Group
Outfit: 347th Squadron
Service Dates: 1942 – 1945
Veteran Station: Mediterranean Theater
County: Johnson, Mo.
Conflicts/Significant Events: Was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for flying 141 missions in World War II in North Africa, Casablanca, Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, Southern France.
He recalls one particular mission, Christmas Eve, over the Po Valley in Italy, where he destroyed an enemy fighter airstrip and planes, crippling the enemy’s air power.
On another occasion, he bailed out over the ocean when an engine malfunctioned, qualifying him as a member of the Caterpillar Club, or those who had “hit the silk” in a bailout and survived.
Story uploaded:  Thursday, May 24, 2007 / updated: Monday April 24th, 2023