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Lester Arasmith

 

Lester Arasmith was born  in St. Joseph, Missouri, on June 9, 1924, and graduated from high school on the 6th of June, 1942.   He joined the U.S. Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, on June 16, 1942, and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant and awarded his pilot wings on December 5, 1943.


Lt. Arasmith joined the 530th Fighter Squadron of the 311th Fighter Group flying P-51 Mustangs in Burma (and later in China) in August 1944.  During his service there, he destroyed five KI-43 Nakajima Oscar fighters and one Mitsubishi Zero as well as severely damaging one more.


In January of 1947 he left active duty and joined the Reserves.  Captain Arasmith returned to active duty with the newly formed U.S. Air Force later that same year, and in July 1950 deployed to Korea where he flew F-51 Mustangs and F-80 Shooting Stars with the 40th Fighter Interceptor Squadron and then with the 41st FIS of the 35th Fighter Group. Major Arasmith next flew F-86 Sabre jets with the 94th FIS at George AFB, California, from June 1951 to January 1955. Colonel Arasmith then served as Commander of the 327th Combat Support Squadron and the Base Commander at Truex Field, Wisconsin, from August 1963 to July 1966.


In 1968 he deployed to Southeast Asia where he served as commander of the 3rd Combat Support Group at Bien Hoa Air Force Base from May 1968 to March 1969. After serving in Viet Nam,  Colonel Arasmith returned to the U.S. and retired from the Air Force on July 31, 1969. During his military career, Lester Arasmith earned the following Decorations, Citations, and Awards:  Combat Aviator Wings; United Nations Service; Viet Nam Campaign;  Republic of Korea War Service; Air Force Longevity Service w/ Oak Leaf; Armed Forces Reserve;  Small Arms Expert Marksman;  National Defense Service w/star;  Korean Service w/4 stars;  Viet Nam Service w/3 stars; Asia-Pacific Campaign w/3 stars; WWII Victory; Army of Occupation; Presidential Unit Citation; American Campaign; Airman Medal; Air Force Commendation w/Oak Leaf; 2 Air Medals w/Oak Leaves; and  Distinguished Flying Cross w/2 Oak Leaves.


Following his military service, Lester Arasmith received his PhD in Economics from the University of Colorado and served on the faculties of the University of Nebraska-Omaha and Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota. He and his wife, Nadine, returned to Lincoln in 1990 to be near their family. Lester Arasmith continues to reside close to his daughter in Lincoln.