Wallace B. McCafferty
Wallace B. McCafferty (1918-1987) flew more than 100 combat missions in three wars. He was born
to fly. As a boy in Odessa, he made model airplanes. Rubber bands powered the craft; neighbor
kids chased them and brought them back to fly again.
McCafferty, president of his senior class at Middletown High, joined the Army Air Corps in 1943,
won his wings in 1944. He became a B-17 pilot, flying 12 combat missions over Europe. Then came
the Korean War where he flew 100 fighter-bomber sorties. In Vietnam, he flew eight missions.
Wallace B. McCafferty (1918-1987) flew combat in three wars, including 100 missions in Lockheed
F-80s over Korea.
The numbers—328 hours of aerial combat in three wars—reveal the intensity of his life aloft; his
many citations reflect his piloting skill and valor. They include:
Distinguished Flying Cross; Air Medal with Three Oak Leaf Clusters; Air Force Commendation
Medal; Army Commendation Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with two
Bronze Service Stars; Korean Service Medal with four Bronze Service Stars; Republic of Korea
Presidential Unit Citation.
Despite the drama of global combat, it was the coast-to-coast Bendix Trophy race of 1955 that tops
the list of memories Major McCafferty left with his three daughters. He had been selected to fly a
North American F-100 Super Sabre from California to a national airshow at Philadelphia.
Unfortunately, he had to make an unscheduled stop to fix a glitch. Still, he came in fourth—to a
rousing salute from top Air Force brass. Major McCafferty retired from the Air Force in 1968 and
entered the insurance business in Washington state.
He returned to Odessa in 1982 and to his hobby of building model airplanes. He joined the RC
(radio control) Club of Delaware. Now bigger, gasoline engine-powered, faster and radio-
controlled, the planes took off, performed aerobatics and landed “on the numbers” on fingertip
commands transmitted by the veteran pilot-for-real.
Major McCafferty and his first wife, Ruth Bradley who lives in Middletown, were the parents of
Sharon Love of Middletown, Carole Foard of Minneapolis, and Lynne Hayes of Tacoma, Wash.
His second wife is deceased
|Delaware Military History