Retired April 1, 1966. Died Sep. 24, 1983.
Harrison R. Thyng was born in Laconia, N.H., in 1918. He was reared in Barnatead, N.H., and he graduated from Pittsfield High School in 1935 as valedictorian of his class. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 1939 with a bachelor of arts degree and a reserve commission as 2nd Lieutenant, Infantry, in the United States Army.
After his graduation he enlisted in the Army Air Corps as a flying cadet. He won his wings in March 1940, and was assigned to duty with the 94th Squadron, lst Pursuit Group at Selfridge, Mich. With the entry of the United States into World War II, First Lieutenant Thyng was assigned as commanding officer of the 309th Fighter Squadron, 31st Fighter Group, and sent to England. The British equipped this group with Spitfires, and Lieutenant Thyng led the first American fighter raids out of England.
This group was subsequently transferred secretly to Gibraltar and it opened up the air offensive of the North Africa invasion. Upon completion of the conquest of North Africa, Thyng (now a lieutenant colonel and commander of the 31st Fighter Group) was wounded and returned to the United States. He was an air ace with eight kills and 162 missions to his credit.
A few months later he was promoted to colonel and assigned as commanding officer of the 413th Long Range Fighter Group which he activated and trained. This group made the first single-engine fighter-plane crossing of the Pacific from Hawaii to Ie Shima. From here, Colonel Thyng led missions of P-47N's escorting B-29s over Japan, Korea and China. (One of his 22 escort missions was during the A-bomb dropping an Nagasaki). At the and of the war Colonel Thyng was transferred to the United States, and in 1946 he was commissioned as a regular officer in the U.S. Air Force.
From September 1947, to May 1950, Colonel Thyng was an Air National Guard instructor. During this time he organized the Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont Air National Guard. He began flying jet fighter aircraft in 1948, and he commanded the jet-equipped 33rd Fighter Wing until 1951 when he was assigned as commanding officer of the 4th Fighter Wing in Korea. During this time he flew a total of 113 combat missions in the F-86 with seven kills to his credit.
Brigadier General Thyng has air victories over German, French, Italian, Japanese and Russian aircraft. He is one of six men who are both conventional and jet aces.
Brigadier General Thyng has served in Air Defense Command as a fighter interceptor group and wing commander, Western Air Defense Force director of operations, air division vice commander, air division commander and sector commander. His jet fighter experience includes the F-80, F-84, F-86, F-89, F-94, F-100, F-102 and F-106. Brigadier General Thyng is now stationed at North Bay, Ontario, Canada, where he is vice commander of the Northern NORAD Region and commander of U.S. Air Force Detachment 5, 4608 Support Squadron (ADC).