Lester  L.  Arasmith  
  Rank, Service
Colonel O-6,  U.S. Air Force
  Veteran of:
U.S. Army Reserve 1942-1943
U.S. Army Air Forces 1943-1947
U.S. Air Force 1947-1969
World War II 1942-1945
Cold War 1945-1969
Korean War 1950-1951
Vietnam War 1968-1969

Les Arasmith was born on June 9, 1924, in St. Joseph, Missouri. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve on August 5, 1942, and entered the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Army Air Forces on February 4, 1943. Arasmith was commissioned a 2d Lt and awarded his pilot wings on December 5, 1943, followed by advanced training in the P-40 Warhawk and then the P-51 Mustang, before joining the 530th Fighter Squadron of the 311th Fighter Group in Burma (and later in China) in August 1944. Lt Arasmith was credited with the destruction of 6 enemy aircraft in aerial combat plus one damaged before returning to the U.S. in October 1945. He served as a flight instructor at Goodfellow Field and then Randolph Field, Texas, from February 1946 to January 18, 1947, when he left active duty and joined the reserves. Capt Arasmith returned to active duty on August 28, 1947, and served as a training officer at Scott AFB, Illinois, until July 1950. He then deployed to Korea, where he flew F-51 Mustangs and F-80 Shooting Stars with the 40th Fighter Interceptor Squadron (FIS) and then the 41st FIS of the 35th Fighter Group from August 1950 to May 1951. Maj Arasmith next flew F-86 Sabres with the 94th FIS at George AFB, California, from June 1951 to January 1955, followed by service as Assistant and then Director of Operations and Training with Headquarters 27th Air Division at Norton AFB, California, from January 1955 to November 1956. He was an operations staff officer with the Atomic Energy Division from November 1956 to July 1959, and then attended Air War College at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, from July 1959 to August 1960. Col Arasmith served with the 1172nd Foreign Missions Squadron from August 1960 to February 1963, followed by service as Special Assistant, Deputy Commander, and then Commander of the 327th Combat Support Squadron and the Base Commander of Truax Field, Wisconsin, from August 1963 to July 1966. His next assignment was as a staff officer with Headquarters Air Defense Command at Ent AFB, Colorado, from July 1966 to May 1968, and he then deployed to Southeast Asia, where he served as commander of the 3rd Combat Support Group at Bien Hoa AB in the Republic of Vietnam from May 1968 to March 1969. After Vietnam, Col Arasmith returned to Ent AFB and retired from the Air Force on July 31, 1969.

His 1st (of 3) Distinguished Flying Cross Citation reads:

For extraordinary achievement in aerial flight. They distinguished themselves as pilots of fighter type aircraft in China by destroying five enemy aircraft in aerial combat on the dates cited. The outstanding skill and fortitude these fighter pilots exhibited in combat with the enemy reflect great honor upon themselves and are in keeping with the fine traditions of the Army Air Forces.

One fighter, 17 November 1944; two fighters, 18 December 1944; two fighters, 5 January 1945




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