Yesterday Colonel Clarence (Bud) E. Anderson of Auburn, California, received an honorary promotion to the grade of Brigadier General in the United States Air Force. General Anderson was decorated 25 times during his 30-year military service including two Legions of Merit, a Bronze Star, five Distinguished Flying Crosses, the French Legion of Honor, and the French Croix de Guerre, and is WWII Triple ACE’ fighter pilot. General Anderson flew 116 combat missions with the 357th Fighter Group when he destroyed more than 16 enemy aircraft in aerial combat over Europe. He also served in combat in the Vietnam War, where he commanded the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing. General Anderson is well regarded as a test pilot, a member of the National Aviation Hall of Fame, and a recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal for American Fighter ACE’s. Despite retiring from the Air Force in 1972, General Anderson has remained devoted to aviation, has become a published author, and is a sought-out guest speaker.
Earlier this year, Congressmen Doug LaMalfa (R – Richvale) and Tom McClintock (R – Roseville) asked the Secretary of the Air Force, Frank Kendall, to consider this promotion. General Charles Q. Brown Jr., Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, presided over the Honorary Promotion Ceremony at the Aerospace Museum of California in Sacramento, California.
“I have been honored to call Bud my friend for over a decade. I always enjoy talking with him about aircraft and flying and listening to Bud recount dogfights on his combat missions. His courage in wartime and his distinguished service has made him a national hero and proves how deserving he is for this honorary promotion. Although I could not be with him in person to celebrate this achievement due to Congressional business in D.C., I extend my best to General Bud Anderson and his family as they celebrate this historic moment,” said Congressman LaMalfa.
“Whether in 60 seconds or 60 hours, it’s impossible to do justice to the heroism, patriotism, and service that defines the life of Bud Anderson. God bless you, General Anderson. Congratulations on your honorary promotion to brigadier general. Thank you from a grateful nation,” said Congressman McClintock.