Mac McKibben was born on September 23, 1921, in Hornell, New York. He obtained his private pilot's license through the Civilian Pilot Training program in June 1941, and then enlisted in the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Army Air Forces on March 2, 1942. McKibben was commissioned a 2d Lt and awarded his pilot wings at Luke Field, Arizona, on October 30, 1942, and then was assigned to the 352nd Fighter Group at Westover Field, Massachusetts, in November 1942. He was assigned to the 486th Fighter Squadron and trained in the P-47 Thunderbolt before deploying to England with his unit in July 1943. Capt McKibben flew 80 combat missions in the P-47 and the P-51 Mustang, and was credited with the destruction of 1 enemy aircraft in aerial combat, 1 probably destroyed in the air, plus 1 on the ground while strafing enemy airfields before returning to the U.S. in September 1944. He left active duty and joined the Air Force Reserve in December 1945, and left the reserves in 1946.
His 2nd Distinguished Flying Cross Citation reads:
For extraordinary achievement in aerial flight over enemy occupied Continental Europe. The skillful and zealous manner in which these officers have sought out the enemy and engaged him, their devotion to duty and courage under all conditions serve as an inspiration to their fellow flyers. Their actions on
all these occasions reflect the highest credit upon themselves and the Armed Forces of the United States.