James Howell Howard (April 13, 1913 ë_ March 18, 1995) was a general in the United States Air Force and the only fighter pilot in the European Theater of Operations in World War II to be awarded the Medal of Honor ë the United States military's highest decoration. CBS commentator Andy Rooney, then a wartime reporter for Stars and Stripes, called Howard's exploits "the greatest fighter pilot story of World War II". In later life, Howard was a successful businessman, author, and airport director. The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang was a long-range single-seat World War II fighter aircraft. Designed, built and airborne in just 117 days, the Mustang first flew in RAF service as a fighter-bomber and reconnaissance aircraft before conversion to a bomber escort, employed in raids over Germany, helping ensure Allied air superiority from early 1944. The P-51 was in service with Allied air forces in Europe and also saw limited service against the Japanese in the Pacific War. The Mustang began the Korean War as the United Nations' main fighter, but was relegated to a ground attack role when superseded by jet fighters early in the conflict. Nevertheless, it remained in service with some air forces until the early 1980s.
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