Warrior Wednesday: Major Felix Asla, Jr. #NeverForgotten

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Major Felix Asla, Jr.
Feb. 9, 1924 to Aug. 1, 1952

Air Force Major Felix Asla, Jr. / Photo credit Korean War Project Remembrance

Air Force Major Felix Asla, Jr. / Photo credit Korean War Project Remembrance

This is one story that is extra heartbreaking because Major Asla was listed as MIA. Though the military eventually said he was presumed dead (Dec. 1953) his wife never gave up hope that he would return, telling her daughter, “no other man could ever match him.” She died in 1994 never knowing her husband’s fate.

Major Asla was a veteran of World War II.

In Korea, he was the pilot of a F-86 Sabrejet Fighter Bomber and the squadron commander of the 336th Fighter Interceptor Squadron (Rocketeers), 4th Fighter Interceptor Group. He had served in Korea for two tours.

On August 1, 1952, while on a combat mission over Sakchu, Korea, his flight of two F-86s was attacked by two MiGs. His aircraft was hit and lost a wing. He was listed as Missing in Action and was presumed dead on December 31, 1953. Through interrogation of the Soviet pilot, MiG-15 ace Nikolai Ivanov, who shot Major Asla, it was determined that he had perished. Major Asla served as commander of the 336th Fighter Interceptor Squadron. He shot down 4 MiGs prior to his loss and had completed 125 missions.

He left behind a wife and two children in Oregon. Major Asla’s fate was eventually revealed and his son’s story paints a heartbreaking picture that everyone should read.

Awarded: Silver Star, Distinguished Service Medal, Bronze Star, Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Commendation Ribbon and, Purple Heart, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Presidential Unit Citation, Republic of Korea War Service Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.

Sources:

5th Air Force insignia

5th Air Force insignia

336th Fighter-Interception Squadron - Rocketeers insignia

336th Fighter-Interception Squadron – Rocketeers insignia

4th Fighter Group insignia

4th Fighter Group insignia

The protagonist of my WID is a physical therapist who works with wounded vets. Through my research I’ve discovered patriots that leave me awe-filled, many of whom gave their life for their country. If I’ve learned only one thing, it is that these soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines don’t do what they do for notoriety, they love their job, their country and their brothers (and sisters) in arms. I encourage you to do a bit of research on these warriors, but keep in mind that initial media reports often contain unverified information and for security reasons many details of operations are never revealed.
  • As if the post isn’t sad enough, Terry’s story is just gut-wrenching. Wonderful spotlight, Missy.

    • Thanks, Staci. Felix and Terry’s stories really took me by surprise because I chose Felix to highlight at random, without deliberation. When I began researching him and found Terry’s story, I knew this warrior and his family deserved recognition.