DescriptionBrigadier General Robert L. Cardenas Flight Suit. A Type K-2B sage green flying suit, size medium regular, complete with functional zippers and snaps, in very good condition. Cardenas's 4532 CCTS (Combat Crew Training Squadron) insignia is sewn on the right shoulder sleeve, an Air Force "Anytime Anyplace" insignia is sewn on the left sleeve, a Tactical Air Command insignia is on the right breast, and Cardenas's leather name tag is on the left. His general's stars are appropriately encased in plastic on each shoulder. Included with the flight suit is a pair of the general's American Optical Company regulation Air Force sun glasses in very good condition. Accompanying the group is an article written by Cardenas about his experiences flying the experimental YB-49 aircraft. The article has been photocopied from an unknown publication and signed "For Tim, Robert L. Cardenas".
Brig. Gen. Robert L. Cardenas enjoyed a varied and interesting career in the U.S. Air Force. During World War II, he served as a B-24 aircraft pilot in the European Theater of Operations with the 506th Bombardment Squadron. He was awarded the Air Medal and two oak leaf clusters for bombing missions before being shot down over Germany in March 1944. Despite head wounds from flak, he made his way back to Allied control. From June 1947 to July 1949, he was an experimental test pilot at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. He was twice awarded oak leaf clusters to the Air Medal for experimental flight tests at Edwards Air Force Base. General Cardenas aided in pioneering jet aircraft development, test flying the P-59 and XB-45, which were the Air Force's first jet fighter and bomber, respectively. He flew the B-29 launch aircraft that released the X-1 experimental rocket plane in which Charles E. Yeager, a captain at the time, became the first man to fly faster than the speed of sound. He retired from the Air Force in 1971.
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