Captain John “Pete” Fernandez
U.S. Air Force
Pilot, F-86 Sabre Jet
Served 1943 - 1980
Presented by his son,
and the Air Force Association
Captain “Pete” Fernandez is recognized as the 3rd high-scoring ace in Korea behind Aces Joe McConnell (one of Pete’s trainees) and James Jabara. He was the only Latino fighter ace during the Korean War.
Two of the top 3 Korean aces, Joe McConnell and “Pete” Fernandez meet with President Dwight Eisenhower at the White House in May 1953.
F-86 Sabre. Pete got most of his kills at high altitude. He always cruised at 45-48,000 feet, at .9 Mach.
A Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-15 sits squarely in Fernandez’s sights over Korea. By May, 1953, after only nine months in combat, he would have a total of 14.5 aerial victories.
In1956, Fernandez won aviation’s prestigious Bendix Trophy Race. The route was Los Angeles to Oklahoma City, 1,118 miles from start to finish. He did it in two hours.
Capt. Fernandez’s official “hit list” USAF records.
SOURCE: Acepilots.com http://acepilots.com/korea_fernandez.html , Historynet.com: http://www.historynet.com/mig-madness-the-air-war-over-korea.htm, Veterantributes.org http://veterantributes.org/TributeDetail.php?recordID=368 , sabre-pilots.org https://sabre-pilots.org/classics/v122fernandez.htm, Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manuel_J._Fernandez