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Archives at The Museum of Flight

Valencia, Eugene



  • Existence: 1921-1972

Eugene A. Valencia, Jr. was born on April 13, 1921 in San Francisco, California. Valencia joined the United States Navy in 1941 and was designated a Naval Aviator the following year. During World War II, Valencia served with Fighting Squadron 9 (VF-9) aboard the USS Essex and USS Lexington. In 1945, he was named a division leader and helped perfect the "mowing machine" maneuver, an effective tactic in which a fighter pilot could constantly be on the attack while his squadron mates provided cover. By the end of World War II, he was one of the top-scoring aces of the Pacific Theater, credited with 23 victories.

Valencia remained in the military after the war and retired as a commander in 1962. He co-founded the American Fighter Aces Association (AFAA) and was very active in the organization, serving as its vice president and historian. He conducted many oral histories with Fighter Aces during the 1960s and hoped to use these interviews for projects promoting the exploits of the Fighter Aces. However, Valencia passed away in 1972 before these projects could be completed.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

American Fighter Aces Association Oral Interviews

Identifier: 2002-02-13-OralHist
Abstract Collection of approximately one hundred twenty (120) oral histories of Fighter Aces and several non-aces, including relatives of aces, other military pilots, and military historians.

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