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Colonel George Cahelo Jr. (USAF Ret.)

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/Weblink.Net/Class/Photos/99435.jpgColonel George Cahelo, Jr., USAF (Retired), age 82, World War II hero, Tuscarora Trail, Maitland, FL died Oct. 20, 2001. Born in Rochester, NH, he moved to Maitland from Rapid City, SD in 1970, after retiring from the Air Force. He was a veteran of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. He participated in 40 Heavy Bomber Missions over Germany and Occupied Europe. Some notable sorties were Berlin (5 times), Schweinfurt (2), and Regenburg. Among his many decorations are the Distinguished Flying Cross with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, the Air Force Commendation, the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal and the French Croix de Guerre with Silver Star, in addition to another 30 awards and decorations. During his illustrous career in the Air Force, he began by enlisting in the Army Air Corp as a Private at Chandler Field in Atlanta, GA. He quickly assimilated to the rigors of service life, and within 30 days of enlistment he was certified as an Aerial Gunner. He later attended the Aerial Gunnery School in Harlingen, TX. He attended Flying School in 1942 and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in 1943. Upon completion of phase training in B-17s, he was then assigned to the 8th Air Force in England, were he flew 2 tours of combat against Nazi Germany. Upon return to the Unites States in 1945, his desire for a full military career was fulfilled when he received a regular commission in the United States Air Force. During his career he was assigned to a variety of diverse positions. He was a Legal Officer for the 7th Bomb Group from 1946 to 1948. After that he primarily worked in Operational Plans, devising war plans during the cold war years. Later after being transferred to the 19th Bomb Wing at Homestead AFB, FL in 1958, he transitioned into B-47s. and flew as a crew member for 1 1/2 years. He later was given command of the 19th A&E Squadron. During this time he also upgraded to B-52s. He was promoted to Colonel, and reassigned to the Strategic Air Command (SAC) Inspector General's office at Omaha, NE. Subsequently, he assumed numerous command positions with the 44th Strategic Missile Wing at Ellsworth AFB, SD. His rapport with his peers and enlisted members under his command brought him many accolades and commendations. He was a member of the Air Force Assocation, Retired Officers Association, the 457th Bomb Group, and the 19th Bomb Group. Survivors include his wife, Bonnie, Maitland, FL; sons George III, Knoxville, TN and Michael, Maitland, FL; daughters Cheryl, Lake Mary, FL and Rhonda, Donna, TX; grandchildren Kyle, Amber, Kirsta and Ari Michael, sister Anne, Emerson, NJ and sister Helen, Long Island, NY. Funeral will be held at the BALDWIN-FAIRCHILD chapel in Altamonte Springs at 3PM on October 24, 2001.
Published in the Orlando Sentinel on Oct. 24, 2001
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