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Col Edward Franklin Rector

Photo added by Loren Bender

Col Edward Franklin Rector

  • Birth 28 Sep 1916 Marshall, Madison County, North Carolina, USA
  • Death 26 Apr 2001 Washington, District of Columbia, District Of Columbia, USA
  • Burial Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
  • Plot Section 66 Site 6467
  • Memorial ID 41459594

Rector, a native of Marshall, North Carolina, graduated from Catawba College in 1938 and began his military career as a naval aviator. He was a carrier pilot on the Ranger, based in Norfolk, when he was recruited for the American Volunteer Group, the official name of the Flying Tigers. The unit was formed with the financial backing of the Chinese government to help defend the Burma Road and Chinese cities from Japanese attack before the United States entered the war.


At War
Colonel Rector was credited with having destroyed 10.5 Japanese aircraft in aerial combat during the war, beginning December 20, 1941, when the Flying Tigers engaged in combat for the first time during a raid by Hanoi-based Japanese aircraft on the Chinese city of Kunming. Ed provided the AVG with its first aerial victory and would later record the last in a long list of 23rd Fighter Group air-to-air kills.[1] In May 1942, he played a critical role in locating and attacking Japanese military columns attempting a push into China at the Salween River Gorge. This allowed the Chinese time to blow up a key bridge across the river, and the Japanese subsequently retreated into Burma.


Later Years
Rector retired from the United States Air Force in 1962 as a Colonel and had a second career in the aviation industry as a consultant in India, North Africa, and Europe.[2] He died April 26, 2001, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center after suffering a heart attack and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery


Family Members


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  • Created by: Loren Bender
  • Added: 1 Sep 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 41459594
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Col Edward Franklin Rector (28 Sep 1916–26 Apr 2001), Find A Grave Memorial no. 41459594, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Loren Bender (contributor 47060026) .