By:Stan Jones, Lt. Col, USAF (Ret)
Captain Charles DeBellevue was an F-4 Weapons System Officer (WSO), assigned to the famed 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron (Triple Nickel) based at Udorn Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand, during the Vietnam war. In September of 1972, he shot down two Mig 29s with Aim 9 missiles, giving him his 5th and 6th kills, making him the first Navigator to become an “Ace”, and the leading Ace of the Vietnam war.
Now, as we all know, the Air Force is run by pilots, so it must have been really embarrassing to have the leading Ace of the Vietnam war be a Navigator! However, the powers that be easily solved that little problem. On his return from Southeast Asia, DeBellevue was sent to pilot training!!
DeBellevue is the recipient of the Air Force Cross and three silver stars. He retired from the Air Force as a full Colonel in 1998.