George T. Tastsides was born on 29th August 1924 in Hibbing, Minnesota and past away on 2nd January 2008.
He followed his training at Duluth, Minnesota from 12th February until 12th April 1943. On 27th May he started at the U.S. Navy preflight School at St. Mary’s, California until 24th August which was followd by the Primary Flight School at Livermore, California from 6th September until 1st December. Following he attended the Advanced Flight School, Corpus Chritsi, Texas (2nd December 1943 until 28th June 1944) and the Operational Flight School at Daytona Beach, Florida (29th June until 30th September).
His final Carrier training he received at the Carrier Qual. Training Unit in Glenview, Illinois between 1st October and 7th October 1944 after which he was placed under supervision of the Commander Air Force Fleet, Norfolk, Virginia from 29th October until 7th November 1944.
His first operational service was with Fighting Squadron 97 (VF-97) in Atlantic City, New Jersey from 8th November until 15th November 1944 but he was soon transferred to Fighting Squadron 94 (VF-94) on the USS Lexington, flying the Hellcat F6F fighter until 8th November 1945. He was released from active duty on 10th December 1945.
After the Second World War, George “Tux” Tastsides re-entered active duty with Fighting Squadron 21A (VF-21A) at San Ysido, California on 3rd February 1947. Between April 1947 and Janaury 1950 he was placed with Fighting Squadron 112 (VF-112) flying the F8F Bearcat at USS Valley Forge, San Diego, California. He initially startet fligh training with the F9F Panther jetplane, but was reassigned LSO with VC-5 from February 1950 until July 1952. Until September 1957 he held several offices with VS-37 Nas Los Alamitos, California and S2F as Maintenance Officer on the USS Yorktown. From October 1959 until June 1963 he was the Operations Officer/LSO with VT-5 at NAS Saufley Field, Florida the T-28 Carrier Qualification Squadron. From June 1963 he was Executive Officer, C1-A C.O.D. Squadron, VRC-40 at Nar Norfolk, Virginia. On 1st July 1965 he finally retired from active service.
During his career he ended up with 3912 hours of flight time and 615 carrier landings. Besides his personal WW2 related decorations he received the Navy Occupation Service Medal ans for his service on the USS Lexington was entitled to wear the Presidential Unit Citation ribbon with one battle star.
He was layed to rest in his home town of Hibbing, Minnesota.
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