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Col Henry Edward "Pete" Warden
Birth: Dec. 26, 1915
Death: Nov. 15, 2007

United States Air Force officer. Colonel Warden was called "the Father of the B-52," because he conceived and nurtured the B-52 Stratofortress program from concept through production into operational deployment. He was also instrumental in the B-47 program. Colonel Warden had a major impact on the two most important bombers ever employed by Strategic Air Command, the B-47 Stratojet and the B-52 Stratofortress. The B-52 is still flying after 50 years and is considered one of the best-designed aircraft ever built. Born in McKinney, Texas, he was the son of Brigadier General John A and Jane Abernathy Warden. When he was 13 years old, his father was stationed in Long Island, NY, and got then Lieutenant Jimmy Doolittle to take his son up for his first airplane flight. Initially studying architecture at Texas Agricultural and Mechanical College for two years, he changed to aeronautical engineering at Catholic University in Washington DC, where he earned his BS degree. He then worked on his Masters Degree at MIT, where he helped design the school's first closed circuit wind tunnel. When Germany invaded Poland in 1939, starting World War II, he was convinced the United States would soon join the conflict, and joined the US Army Air Corps in November 1939 to become a pilot. In 1940, he completed pilot training and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant, then was assigned as a fighter pilot flying the P-36 and P-40 fighters. In 1941, he and his unit, the 20th Pursuit Squadron, was reassigned to the Philippines. When Japan attacked the Philippines in December 1941, he was stationed outside Manila. When General Douglas McArthur repositioned US Forces on the Bataan Peninsula, Warden remained behind at Clark Field to piece together destroyed P-40s, to make them flyable and to prevent their capture by the Japanese. He salvaged eight P-40s, flying the last one himself to a field airstrip on Bataan. From there he was sent to Mindanao to find and repair more aircraft. When Bataan fell, he was ordered to Australia, where he became a key figure in the Army Air Force's Logistical System, developing innovations to improve aircraft performance. During this period he flew 25 combat missions, where he downed several Japanese planes. In June 1944, he was reassigned to Wright Field, Ohio, to work on the experimental XB-36 program, one of the first Intercontinental bombers to be fielded after World War II. During his assignment to the Air War College at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, he met and married Joanna Shields Johnson, they would have three children: Henry, William and Joanna. Over the next 25 years, Warden worked on experimental aircraft programs in a variety of assignments, but it is his work with the B-52 Bomber that he is most remembered. Following his military retirement in 1964, he worked for North American Aviation for six years in Los Angeles, California, then moved to Columbus, Mississippi, where he became a farmer. He and Joanna began a school, the Warden Carden School, which they operated for twenty years, as a ministry for the youth of Columbus, MS. His military awards include the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Defense of the Philippines Medal and the Distinguished Unit Citation with three Oak Leaf Clusters (4 awards). (bio by: Patricia Langley Harvey) 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Joanna Johnson Warden (1924 - 2007)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Friendship Cemetery
Columbus
Lowndes County
Mississippi, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Patricia Langley Harvey
Record added: Dec 04, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 23243428
Col Henry Edward Pete Warden
Added by: Nascargoodolboy
 
Col Henry Edward Pete Warden
Added by: Dixie
 
Col Henry Edward Pete Warden
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Albert C. Pace
 
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Cudos Col! My dad flew that awesome 52 and 47 in USAF/SAC and loved it as I did watching him take off in it!- USAF/SAC 'brat' Proud Dau of B-52 and B-47/3 Wars Vet Col. Pilot
- Nena Smothers
 Added: Mar. 18, 2014
Cudos Col Warden! SAC owes you big time
- Nena Smothers
 Added: Mar. 18, 2014

- David Wend
 Added: Dec. 27, 2013
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