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Check Six – 1956-1958: John C. Giraudo – The Big Kahuna

June 19, 2022

The 199th Fighter Squadron converted to North American F-86 Sabre in 1954. It was more than aircraft conversion from the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt to the Sabres; it was a transition from props to jets. There were challenges for operations and maintenance.

In 1956, then-Lt Col John Giraudo arrived in Hawai‘i to be the Senior Air Force Adviser to the Territory of Hawai‘i Air National Guard. He came from Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, where he

served as the commander of the Fighter Weapons School. 

Known as the “Big Kahuna”, he proved instrumental in the 199th Fighter Squadron movement into the jet age. His leadership and guidance were influential in organizational improvements. In 1957 was selected as the most operationally ready Air Guard fighter unit in the United States.

Several HIANG retirees from the 1950s say the Big Kahuna was the key to the high standards that 199 FS has in its flight operations for the following years. 

Attached is an article written by Tai “Mynah” Hong about the Big Kahuna.

Major General John C. Giraudo’s Air Force biography

Webmaster Comment: another definite candidate for the Hawai‘i Air National Guard’s Hall of Honor.

From → History

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