Ed Feightner was born on October 14, 1919, in Lima, Ohio. He graduated from Findlay College, Ohio, with a Bachelor's Degree in Chemistry in May 1941, and entered the Naval Aviation Cadet Program on June 16, 1941. Feightner was commissioned an Ensign and was designated a Naval Aviator on April 3, 1942, and after completing fighter training and carrier training, he joined VF-10 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CV-6) in October 1942. Ensign Feightner was credited with the destruction of 4 enemy aircraft in aerial combat plus 1 probable before joining VF-8 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Bunker Hill (CV-17) in May 1943. Lt Feightner was credited with destroying an additional 5 enemy aircraft plus 1 probable and 1 damaged while serving with VF-8, for a total of 9 destroyed, 2 probables, and 1 damaged in World War II. His next assignment was as Engineering Officer for VF-98 and then Gunnery Officer for VF-21, where he served from November 1944 to November 1946. After completing test pilot training, he served at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, from July 1949 to December 1951, followed by service as a flight demonstration pilot with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels from January to September 1952. CDR Feightner served as Development Officer for VX-3 from September 1952 to December 1954, and then served as Commanding Officer of VF-11 from January 1955 to February 1957. CDR Feightner served as Commander of Carrier Air Group TEN (CVG-10) from May 1959 to March 1960, followed by service on the staff of CVG-4 from March to July 1960. He attended Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, from July 1960 to June 1961, and then served on the staff at the Bureau of Naval Weapons in Washington, D.C., from June 1961 to July 1963. Capt Feightner next served on the staff of the Commander of Carrier Division TWO from July 1963 to October 1964, followed by service as Commanding Officer of the fleet oiler USS Chikaskia (AO-54) from October 1964 to November 1965. He attended the U.S. Naval Amphibious Warfare School at Little Creek, Virginia, from November 1965 to February 1966, and then served as Commanding Officer of the amphibious assault ship USS Okinawa (LPH-3) from February 1966 to March 1967. After completing the Defense Weapons Systems Management Center course at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, Capt Feightner served on the staff of the Office of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Air in the Pentagon from June 1967 to August 1970. ADM Feightner's final assignment was as Assistant Commander for Logistics/Fleet Support and as Deputy Commander for Plans and Programs in the Naval Air Systems Command from September 1970 until his retirement from the Navy on July 1, 1974.
His 1st (of 4) Distinguished Flying Cross Citation reads:
For heroism and extraordinary achievement in aerial flight as Pilot of a Fighter Plane in Fighting Squadron TEN, attached to the U.S.S. ENTERPRISE, during action against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands-Area on January 30, 1943. Participating in a combat patrol which engaged a group of twelve heavily armed, twin-engined Japanese torpedo bombers in the vicinity of Rennel Island, Lieutenant (then Ensign) Feightner pressed home his attack and personally shot down three of the hostile aircraft, despite heavy antiaircraft fire and powerful enemy aerial opposition. His courage, skill and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.