Donald B. Knaack

Fighter Pilots Get Wings and Commissions
HEADQUARTERS ARMY AIR FORCES CENTRAL FLYING TRAINING COMMAND, Randolph Field, Texas—Climax of the effort made by Midwest and Central United States to assist in manning the great air fleet designed to blast the invasion path through Europe was reflected in graduation ceremonies on April 15 at eleven southwest advanced flying schools for pilots of the Army Air Forces Training Command.

Hundreds of young men from the Midwest and central section of the United States received their commissions as fighter and bomber pilots at the eleven schools in Texas and Oklahoma. Ohio, which led the nation at graduation ceremonies five weeks ago, was second in total number of graduates at the ceremonies with 298, close behind Texas which had 326. Illinois was third with 264. Every state in the nation was represented at the ceremonies.

Pilots who will man the controls of Thunderbolts, Lightnings, Mustangs, and other fighter planes were graduated from the Texas schools at Eagle Pass, Aloe, and Foster Fields at Victoria and from Moore Field at Mission. Fortress, Billy Mitchell, Marauder, and Liberator pilots were graduated from the bomber pilot schools in Texas at Waco, Ellington Field at Houston, Brooks Field at San Antonio, the Army Air Fields at Lubbock and Pampa and from the two Oklahoma schools at Frederick and Altus.

Among the new pilots are Lieutenant Ervin H. Best, 709 North Michigan Street, Eau Claire; Lieutenant Arlyn K. Dahl, Chetek, Route 3; Lieutenant Ervin L. Greuel, 321 Main Street, Menomonie.

Lieutenant Raymond L. Purfeerst, Cornell; Flight Officer Albert J. Wagner, Gilman, Route 1; Lieutenant Edward S. Rock, Hudson; Flight Officer Gerald W. Palmer, Ladysmith, Route 2; Lieutenant Donald B. Knaack, Owen; and Lieutenant Charles M. Coolidge, Park Falls.