Personal Stories
64th FS Pilot Robert N. Nielsen Jr.
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This is a picture of my father's Uncle George Hoeck standing next to his Jenny. He was certainly responsible for my father's interest in flying at an early age. Uncle George was an early aviation pioneer. He and my grandfather built a glider in 1910s. My grandfather said they made three flights with this glider by launching it off the roof of a barn. He added the first two flights where successful! During the 1920s Uncle George had of couple of Jennys and a Ford Tri-motor that he used in his barnstorming efforts and to give rides in around the Chicago area.

This is probably one of the earliest photos of my father, Robert Nielsen Jr., at the beginning of his aviation career. He is sitting in the back of his Uncle George's Jenny at the age of about 5 circa 1927. I know he hung out a lot with his Uncle during this period of time and this is where he undoubtedly

This photo was taken in Miami, South Beach. After enlisting Dad was sent here, I believe, for basic training. The Army had "requisitioned" much of recently built hotels to serve as barracks. I think Dad told me that during this basic training one of the things all of the trainees were ordered to do was to look directly at the sun in order to "develop the discipline to follow orders". I am not sure I remember this correctly as it seems like a moderately stupid thing to do!

After basic training Dad was sent to Ouachita College in Arkadelphia, Arkansas to attend school while waiting to be sent to primary flight training. During this period my mother at the time she was engaged to my father made three trips with my father's mother to visit him there. My father and my mother are on the right. I am not sure who the other couple is.

Another picture of my parents in Arkadelphia, Arkansas

Another picture of my parents in Arkadelphia, Arkansas

My father in Arkadelphia, Arkansas

After Arkadelphia Dad was sent to Coleman, Texas for primary flight training. His flight instructor was Frank Oschner who Dad remained in contact with for the reminder of his life as he was another person had a significant impact on his future career.

While in Coleman, Texas he and my mother were married on December 24, 1943. They had originally planned to get married in Chicago immediately after he completed his flight training, but decided now was the time to do this. Dad use to joke about this date my saying he had a 3 day pass and nothing else to do. Needless to say mother did not appreciate this!

After completing primary flight training Dad was sent to Sherman, Texas and Victoria, Texas for basic and advanced flight training. This is his flight training graduation picture. He was in class 44E, May 1944.

This is one of my favorite photos of a P-47. This photo was probably taken either in Baton Rogue, Louisiana or Pocatello, Idaho (I am not sure which location as he flew P-47s in both of these places). One can get a better measure of the size of the P-47 by the propeller he is standing next to.

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