k Nebraska Department of Aeronautics
Official Nebraska Government Website
Official Nebraska Government Website

NDOT, Division of Aeronautics
Mr. Ronnie Mitchell, Director

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John S. Loisel became the state’s leading air ace in World War II. Born in Idaho and raised in Norfolk, Nebraska, Loisel attended the University of Nebraska and joined the United States Army’s Flying Cadet program, completing training in October 1941. During the war in the Pacific Theater he flew 300 combat missions over the course of three consecutive years, longer than any U.S. pilot. Flying a P-38 Lightning in the 475th Fighter Group, Loisel downed eleven Japanese airplanes. Before war’s end he reached the rank of lieutenant colonel in command of the group.

Loisel remained in the military and in 1950 returned to combat in the P-80 Shooting Star jet fighter in Korea. He retired from the Air Force in 1970 with more than 5,500 flying hours.


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