SHARKHUNTERS Salutes Veterans
Colonel DONALD LOPEZ (3572-1994)
United States Army Air Corps, Museum Official
World War Two fighter ACE, test pilot – and a major factor in bringing the National Air and Space Museum(at the Smithsonian) to life. Based in China, he flew 101 missions, mostly in his P-40 named “Lope’s Hope“, shot down five enemy aircraft and damaged several others.
He entered combat again when the Korean War broke out.
Among his many awards is one Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross (twice) and the Air medal (three times).
LOPEZ was one of the first members of the original “Black Tail “P-51 Mustang flyboys – the 75th Fighter Squadron;23rd Fighter Group.