Robert M. DeHaven oral history interview (Part 1 of 5)
In this five-part oral history, fighter ace Robert M. DeHaven is interviewed about his military service with the United States Army Air Forces. In part one, DeHaven describes his experiences as a fighter pilot, including his time in the South Pacific with the 7th Fighter Squadron of the 49th Fighter Group during World War II. He also touches on his postwar involvement with the Bendix Trophy aeronautical races. Other topics discussed include DeHaven’s early interest in aviation, his training and service history, and anecdotes about fellow pilots and fighter aces.
The interview is conducted by fellow fighter ace Eugene A. Valencia.
Oral History Item Type Metadata
Robert M. DeHaven was born on January 13, 1922 in San Diego, California. He joined the United States Army Air Forces in 1942 and graduated from flight training the following year. DeHaven served with the 7th Fighter Squadron of the 49th Fighter Group during World War II, flying missions in the Philippines and Papua New Guinea. He later became Group Operations Officer of the 49th Fighter Group. DeHaven remained in the military after the war, representing the Air National Guard as their acceptance test pilot for the Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star. He transferred to the Air Force Reserve in 1950 and retired as a colonel in 1965. In his civilian life, he worked for the Hughes Aircraft Company as a test pilot and executive and as the personal pilot for Howard Hughes. He also served as president of the American Fighter Aces Association. DeHaven passed away in 2008.
Biographical information courtesy of: Boyce, Ward J., ed., American fighter aces album. Mesa, Ariz: American Fighter Aces Association, 1996.