Starck, Walter Edwin, Col

Deceased
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Colonel
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
5516-Civil Engineering Staff Officer
Last AFSC Group
Civil Engineering
Primary Unit
1964-1965, Strategic Air Command (SAC)
Service Years
1942 - 1965
Officer Collar Insignia
Colonel

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

59 kb

Home State
Kansas
Kansas
Year of Birth
1920
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CMSgt Don Skinner-Deceased to remember Starck, Walter Edwin, Col.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Hosington
Last Address
Berlin, Maryland

Date of Passing
Jan 07, 2010
 
Location of Interment
Eastern Shore Veterans Cemetery - Hurlock, Maryland
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Plot G. Row 16, Site 13

 Official Badges 




 Unofficial Badges 

Cold War Medal Air Ace American Fighter Aces Congressional Gold Medal


 Military Association Memberships
American Fighter Aces Association
  2018, American Fighter Aces Association


 Additional Information

Last Known Activity

 Walter E. Starck was born in Hosington, Kansas on September 2, 1920. He was the son of a Lutheran minister, who died in 1933. Walter's mother returned, with her children, to her home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. From age 3, Walter expressed a desire to be a pilot. He worked to support the family starting in his teens and saved money from his job as a theater manager. 

He graduated High School, and applied for Aviation Cadets, but a requirement was 2 years of college. He hired a tutor to enable him to receive the equivalent education. After the war began in 1941, the 2-year requirement was eliminated, so Walter enlisted and requested Cadet status in January 1942.

On November 10, 1942, he graduated from flight training and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant and awarded pilot wings at Moore Field, Texas. He was then sent to Westover, Massachusetts to familiarize himself on the P-47. Later he was assigned to the 321st Fighter Squadron of the 326th Fighter Group.

After training, he was assigned to the 487th Fighter Squadron of the 352nd Fighter Group as the Engineering Officer. He deployed with the unit in 1943 to Bodney Field, England. He began routine missions in the P-47, escorting bombers, and making fighter sweeps. He moved to P-51 fighters when the 352nd Fighter Group transitioned from the P-47.

On November 27, 1944, he and his flight engaged  enemy fighters in defense of a bomber stream. At that time, his record was 5 aerial victories, with 1 probable and 2 damaged. In the ensuing dogfight, he shot down 2 more enemy aircraft, but debris from his last kill struck his aircraft and damaged the engine. He reported to the flight leader he was making for England, but the aircraft lost all power and Starck was forced to bail out.

He was captured by the Germans and interrogated for 19 days under extreme conditions, Finally, he was shipped to Stalag Luft I where he stayed under primitive conditions until liberated by the Russians in May 1945. He was promoted to Major and returned to the U.S. at duty stations Moore Field, Texas and Luke AFB, Arizona.

In 1946 he returned to Europe on Occupation duty at Schweinfurt, Germany. In 1948, he was assigned to Red Bank, New Jersey. He then had a tours at various organizations and bases such as Wright-Patterson AFB, Illinois; Taegu AFB, Korea: and Lincoln AFB, Nebraska in the Civil Engineering area.

He became the Division Civil Engineering Officer for the 3rd Air Force in 1962 at Anderson AFB, Guam. In 1964, he was appointed as Executive Civil Engineering Officer at Hgs SAC at Offutt AFB, Nebraska.

Colonel Walter E. Strack retired from the Air Force on July 31, 1965.

He passed away on January 7, 2010 at his home in Berlin, Maryland.

  

Other Comments:

Walter Starck's first assigned aircraft was P-47D #42-8684, nicknamed "Lucia."

When the 352nd Fighter Group transitioned to P-51s, Starck was assigned P-51B #43-24807, nicknamed "Starck Mad." This name was on the left side of the aircraft; "Even Steven" (for Keith Steven, crew chief) was on the right side.

Later, Starck was given P-51B #43-6929, which was lost on May 12, 1944 while being flown by Lt. Alfred P. Howard, Jr., who was shot down and captured. Ironically enough, Starck was flying P-51B #44-14794, nicknamed "Buzz Boy," assigned to Lt. James Bateman, when he was forced to bail out and become a POW.

   
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World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Air Offensive, Europe Campaign (1942-44)
From Month/Year
July / 1942
To Month/Year
June / 1944

Description
(Air Offensive, Europe Campaign 4 July 1942 to 5 June 1944) Pre-war doctrine had held that waves of bombers hitting enemy cities would cause mass panic and the rapid collapse of the enemy. As a result, the Royal Air Force had built up a large strategic bomber force. By way of contrast, Nazi German air force doctrine was almost totally dedicated to supporting the army. Therefore, German bombers were smaller than their British equivalents, and Germany never developed a fully successful four engined heavy bomber equivalent to the Lancaster or B-17, with only the similarly sized Heinkel He 177 placed into production and made operational for such duties with the Luftwaffe in the later war years.

The main concentration of German raids on British cities was from September 7, 1940 until May 10, 1941 in the most famous air battle of all time, known as the Battle of Britain. Facing odds of four against one the RAF held off the mighty Luftwaffe forcing Hermann Wilhelm Göring to withdraw his forces and more importantly indefinitely postpone invasion plans. This proved the first major turning point of the War. After that most of the strength of the Luftwaffe was diverted to the war against the Soviet Union leaving German cities vulnerable to British and later American air bombings. As a result of the victory, Great Britain was used by U.S and other Allied forces as a base from which to begin the D-Day landings in June 1944 and the liberation of Nazi-occupied Western Europe. 

From 1942 onwards, the efforts of Bomber Command were supplemented by the Eighth Air Force of the United States Army Air Forces, U.S. Army Air Forces units being deployed to England to join the assault on mainland Europe on July 4, 1942. Bomber Command raided by night and the US forces by day. 
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Month/Year
January / 1943
To Month/Year
December / 1943
 
Last Updated:
Mar 16, 2020
   
Personal Memories
   
Units Participated in Operation

762nd Bombardment Squadron, Heavy

355th Wing - Desert Lightning

 
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  1389 Also There at This Battle:
  • Allen, Herman Fredrick, Col, (1942-1945)
  • Armanini, Joseph P., Maj, (1941-1945)
  • Armstrong, Donald C., SSgt, (1942-1945)
  • Baer, John Willard, Brig Gen, (1943-1972)
  • Becay Jr., Frank, TSgt, (1942-1945)
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