Barnstead's Military Hero – General Harrison Thyng
The Barnstead Historical Society will present a program on Barnstead's military hero, Brigadier General Harrison R. Thyng, the evening of Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 7:00. His son, Lt. Colonel James R. Thyng, will speak. Actual combat gun camera footage will be featured for both WWII and Korea.
General Thyng is one of only 7 US combat pilots who became Aces in two conflicts, flying propeller fighters in WWII followed by jet fighters in Korea, where he became known as the premier air combat commander of his time.
Harrison Thyng was born in Laconia, NH in 1918. He grew up in Barnstead, was schooled in both Barnstead and Pittsfield, and graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 1939 with a Reserve Commission as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Corps.
As a First Lieutenant, he commanded the 309th Fighter Squadron and was shipped to England in 1942. The British equipped his unit with Spitfires and "Harry" soon led the first American fighter raids out of England into France. When he shot up a German FW-190, he entered the history books as the first American pilot in the Army Air Force to record a claim against the Luftwaffe.
His group was transferred to North Africa where it supported America's first invasion into the war. After 162 missions, and eight aerial victories, he returned to the States. He then trained the newly created 413th Long Range Fighter Group flying P-47Ns which escorted B-29's on raids over Japan, Korea and China. On one of his 22 missions, he observed the atomic bomb attack on Nagasaki.
Following WWII, General Thyng returned to war in 1951. He was appointed Commander of the 4th Fighter Wing in Korea flying the F-86 Saber Jet against Russian, Chinese and North Korean pilots. On 20 May 1952, he became the 16th Ace of the Korean War.
He retired as a Brigadier General and, later, became the first president of what is now Daniel Webster College. As a tribute to his bravery, skill, and dedication to his country a monument was erected in his memory in Pittsfield.
The Barnstead Historical Society meets in the Town Hall at Center Barnstead. It is located at 108 South Barnstead Road (Route 126), Center Barnstead, NH. For further information you can contact Ken Pitman, Barnstead Historical Society at rkpitman @aol.com or 603-269-5692.