Colonel Ford Larimore Fair

Command Pilot. Service Number: 0-17029

Col. Fair was born on July 9, 1898 in Fort Wayne, IN, USA and was the son of Perry W. Fair, an architect, and Aurelia Larimore. He had two younger brothers and two older sisters.

He attended high school in Fort Wayne, and graduated in 1917.

From the Fort Wayne High School yearbook:

Ford lived at home and worked as a bookkeeper as recorded in the 1920 census. His older sisters were schoolteachers. Ford was just 24 years old when his father died in 1922.

In 1926, he married Rosabella Zoll. Rosie was born in Birmingham, Alabama on January 22, 1903. They had no children.

The 1930 census records show that he was an Army Officer stationed at Chanute Field in Champaign Illinois.

When war broke out, he had already reached the rank of Colonel, and was assigned the rank of Brigadier General for the duration of WWII. When the war ended, he reverted to his rank of Colonel, as often happened during the transition and downsizing of the U.S. Army from wartime to peacetime.

Ford FairAs Brigadier General, Fair was Commanding Officer of the I Tactical Air Command from December 1943 to May 1945. The I Tactical Air Command developed the concept of air support of ground troops, a new concept in the tactics of warfare that evolved in response to the German Blitzkrieg. He was then named Commanding Officer of the III Tactical Air Command from May 1945 to July 1945. The III TAC was based at Esler Field, Florida, in the U.S. and undertook the SPHYNX Project for testing aerial ordnance.

At the time of his death, Col. Fair was Chief of Staff at the headquarters of the European Air Transport Service (EATS).

Rosabella (Rosie) Fair never knew that her husband’s plane had been found in the mountains of the Alps. She stayed in Wiesbaden for many months, hoping and praying that her husband would come home again. She returned to the U.S. in April, 1947, and lived in Portsmouth, VA, for many years. She died in North Carolina on September 29, 1992.

Sources:

Air Force Combat Units of World War II By Maurer, Maurer, Published 1986

www.ancestry.com

www.west-point.org

telephone interview with next-of-kin

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