Medal award while a member of the elite Special Forces Group that included serving with Co A, 8th Special Forces Grp (Abn); Co B, 3rd Special Forces Grp (ABN); HHC, 5th Special Forces Grp (Abn) and Co A, 6th Special Forces Grp (Abn),
When Ples first enlisted in the service, in Feb 1946, at the age of 16 yrs and five months, the Air Force wasn’t a separate military branch. Instead, it was known as the Army Air Corps, later changed to Army Air Forces, and was a part of the United States Army, remaining so until September 1947, when it officially became the United States Air Force. So by the time he was honorably discharged in November 1948, Ples actually had served in two military branches, the Army and the Air Force. During this enlistment he served in New Mexico and Guam as part of the 27th and 6459th Maintenance Units as an airplane and engine mechanic.
MSgt Gilmore served 24 years in the military, twelve years with the Green Beret Special Forces, and was one of the first blacks from Fort Lewis selected to serve with this elite group. During his career he was involved in four major wars or conflicts: The Berlin Crisis 1961-1962, The Vietnam War 1963-1973, The Panama Conflict 1964, and the 1965 Domi...
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