32nd Fighter Squadron the Wolfhounds

Canal Zone – Soesterberg / Camp New Amsterdam – Ramstein

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32nd Wolfhounds Commander

Donald H. Paap, AAF and AF Career

LTC Donald H. Paap with his 32nd Wolfhounds F-100 Super Sabre


Received pilot’s training at A.C. Trng. Detachment in Hemet, California. He graduated 27 Sept 1941.

He then arrived at Luke Field, Arizona in November 1941 for more training.

Upon graduating from flight cadet school on 6 March 1942, he was reassigned to Atkinson Field in British Guiana with the 430th Bomb Sqn., 6th Air Force, then reassigned to 6th Interceptor Air Task Force, San Juan, Puerto Rico, where he was again reassigned to the 9th Bombardment Group, Waller Field, Trinidad, BWI on 12 March, 1942. While at Trinidad, he was assigned as the SQN Transportation Officer for the 35th Bomb SQN. Promoted to 1st Lieutenant on 18 May 1943. During this period he piloted B-18s on anti-submarine patrols throughout the lesser Antilles. (1st Air Medal

On 15 June 1943 he was released from the 35th  Bomb SQN and detailed to assist the pilots and crews of the USS Princeton as she prepared to reclassify from a cruiser to an aircraft carrier prior to deploying to the Pacific Theater during WWII. The Commanding Officer at the time was Brig. Gen Charles F. Born.

Upon completion of this duty, on 23 Dec 1943, he was assigned to the Hq &HQ SQN, 39th Reconnaissance SQN, 6th Fighter Command where he was assigned as the Assistant to the Deputy Commander for the Antilles Air Command. Maj. Gen Shedd.

On Jan 7 1944, he was promoted to Captain.

On 24 May he was reassigned to the 4th Tactical Reconnaissance SQN, Miami, FL and on 1 July 1944 assigned as the Commander “A” Flight. It seems as if this was a designation while awaiting further assignment orders.

Total time with the Caribbean Defense Command was 28 months.

On 16 July 1944, CPT Paap was provided orders to report to AAF Redistribution Station #3, Santa Monica, CA to report 13 Aug 1944.

Once arriving to Santa Monica, on 25 August 1944 he was reassigned to “Maintenance Engineering School for Combat Pilot at Chanute Field, Rantoul, Illinios. Report NLT 14 Sept 1944. Graduated 24 Feb 1945 and reassigned to SQN D, 1st AF, 127 AAF, Florence, South Carolina as the Supervisor of Maintenance (28 May 1945. (A-26 Invader) Here he received the American Theater Ribbon and WWII Victory Medal.

17 October 1945, he was released from SQN D, 1st AF, 127 AAF, Florence, South Carolina assigned to 1st AF, 112th AAF Westover Field, Md. And subsequently reassigned to 138th AAF Base Unit (Bomb), Lake Charles, LA on 28 November 1945. At this assignment, he was also assigned as the Assistant Supervisor of Aircraft Maintenance and the squadron Fire Marshal for aircraft crashes. On 29 January 1946 he was released from this duty and assigned as the Base Flight & Transient Engineer Officer and Test Flight Engineer. He became a Certified Flight Instructor for the A-26C Bomber (Invader) on 12 March 1946.


CPT Donald H. Paap was transferred to 309th AAF BU (9th AF), Biggs Field, Texas on 25 September 1946 where he was again assigned as the Asst. Maint. Officer. It was during this time that he gained his first Turbine or Jet training when he went TDY to Chanute Field, Ill to pursue AP and engine mechanics Special P-80 (Shooting Star) Course (Class 01207-A). He completed the course with an academic rating of “Superior” on 28 February 1947.


LTC Donald H. Paap with his P-80 (Shooting Star)


He was then released from the 309th AAF BU and assigned to Project PAC X1210, Hamilton Field, California, en route to an overseas assignment to the 13th Air Force, APO NY 719 reporting on 6 Jan 1948. After Arrival, he was subsequently reassigned to the 5th AF, 6th Service Group, 82nd Air Engineer Squadron. He finally arrived at his new duty station at Itazuki AAB, Japan on 2 March 1948 assigned to the 431st Fighter Squadron, APO 929 and also assigned as the Asst. Maint. Officer and Instructor Pilot for the squadron and served as a member of the ground safety committee for the air base. The 431st had P-51 fighter aircraft.

On 18 August, CPT Paap was transferred to 475th Maint. Sq. FTR, 475th Maintenance and Support Group, 475th Fighter Wing, Itazuki AB, Japan where he received his first Command. He was also attached to the 432nd and 433rd Fighter Squadrons for flight duty to remain proficient. On 1 Feb 1949 he obtained Test Pilot Status for the P-51 fighter aircraft and was appointed as the squadron engineering officer.

On 7 March 1949, CPT Donald Paap received his “Senior Pilot” rating and earned a star above his wings! Following his Command with the 475th Maintenance Squadron, he was reassigned to the 5th AF, HQ 315th Air Division as the Chief of Maintenance for the Wing on 30 June 1949.

During his tenure with the 315th, CPT Paap met the requirements for Air Command and Staff School (29 Nov 1949), was awarded MOS 4823 and transferred to the HQ Squadron, 8th Fighter-Bomber Wing, 35th Ftr-Bmr Squadron, Itazuke, APO 929 on 1 March 1950 (F-80s). During this assignment, he was appointed as the Flight Leader and Asst. Operations Officer for the Group.

In May 1950, Don was assigned to the 1st Fighter-Interceptor Wing, March AFB, CA and to 1st Fighter-Interceptor Group, 71st Fighter-Interceptor Sq, Griffiss AF Base, NY with duty at Pittsburgh Airport (with Robin Olds) and in July was promoted to the rank of Major. He was reassigned to Hq Squadron  Eastern Air Defense Force (EADF), Stewart AFB Newburgh, NY in April 1951.

In December 1951, MAJ Paap was released from the EADF and reassigned to Flight “C” 7470th Hq Spt Sq, Oslo, Norway (Allied Air Forces Northern Europe) where he was assigned as the Tactical Operations Officer.

Due to his father’s failing health, in June 1952, MAJ was reassigned to 1738th Ferrying Squadron, Long Beach Minucipal Airport, CA where he would spend the next 18 months. In October 1953, MAJ was sent overseas to 3rd AF, 406 Fighter Bomber Wing/Fighter Interceptor Wing, Middlesex England. He ferried Jet Fighter aircraft (F-86F) to Europe.

In November 1954, he was assigned to HQ USAFE, Wiesbaden, GE as the Chief of Standardization Division/Director of Operations and Training. There, he would receive orders to take him to The Air Training Command, Nellis AFB, Nevada for the F-100 transition training. He would graduate from the course (112105A) on 15 September 1955 and returned to Germany.

LTC Donald H. Paap with his F-100 Super Sabre


In June 1956, Major Paap reported to the 36th Fighter Day Wing (FDW), 53rd Fighter Day Squadron (Uber Alles) , APO NY 132 where he would ultimately assume the duties of Commander.
He was promoted the LTC on 10 Jan 1957 and awarded Air Commander (0066A) and granted Command Pilot status on 13 March 1957. (Bitburg/Landstuhl)

In November 1957, LTC Paap was reassigned as the Commander of the 32nd FDS, 36th Fighter Wing, Soesterberg, Holland.

After his time in the USAF, Don was employed by Northrup on the F-5 project until 1971. He started his own business in 1971 and passed away on Guam in 1976.











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