Lieutenant General Howard M. Lane:

38 Years in the Sky

grayscale photo of army

Lieutenant General Howard M. Lane was born in Auburn, Alabama in 1924. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet just before Christmas 1942. He would be commissioned as a second lieutenant and get his wings in February 1944, the next month he would qualify as an advanced flight instructor on signal engine aircraft.

In March 1945 he would be deployed to Iwo Jima as a fighter pilot with the 21st Fighter Group. Lieutenant Lane would fly several Escort and Strike missions over Japan and shot down a Japanese Zero in aerial combat. Howard Lane would return to the US from 1947-1950 to do conversion training on jet aircraft.

Shortly after the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950 he was posted to the 4th Fighter Group in Korea. He was piloting the new and advanced F-86 Sabre jet. I haven't been able to find out how many missions he flew in WW2 and Korea, but he is credited with shooting down 1 and a half MiG fighters in aerial combat. A year later, having done his tour in Korea, he transferred home and began a long period of schooling and increasingly important commands.

These included: Chief of Fighter Operations Branch, Flight Test Operations Division, and Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base. While there, he participated in the initial tests of all century-series supersonic fighter aircraft. He then worked in Research and Development out of Washington and in 1968 took command of the 27th Tactical Fighter Wing at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M.

Following this quiet period at home, he would head to Vietnam and assume command of the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing at Bien Hoa Air Base in April 1969. During his tour there, he completed 256 combat missions in the F- 100 Super Sabre. He would then transfer to Germany and command the 26th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at Rammstein Air Base.

This was followed by his appointment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's Fourth Allied Tactical Air Force as Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations. These were critical cold war postings to defend against the Soviets. Between 1972 and 1978 he served in several postings working with R&D and experimental aircraft.

In 1978 he would be promoted to Lieutenant General and be appointed Inspector General of the United States Airforce. This would be his final posting from which he retired in 1980, 38 years in uniform.

green army tank parking on green grass ground

21st Fighter Group, Iwo Jima, 1945 

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336th FS "Fabulous Rocketeers" 4th Fighter-Interceptor Wing, Korean War, 1950

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Early morning prep for a mission 1951 as pilots walk to their planes.

Interesting markings on this 336th aircraft denoting missions and kills, done mostly during the early war period.

A good example of 336th Fighter Squadron art (Circa 1954) 

Commanding the 3rd Tactical Fighter Group, Bien Hoa, Vietnam 1968-1970

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Bien Hoa Airfield in Vietnam

Headquarters Building, Bien Hoa Airfield, Vietnam

F-100 dropping ordnance on enemy targets during Vietnam

F-100 Super Sabre of the 90th TFS at Bien Hoa

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Vancouver Island, CA

About us

The War Dungeon is a private collection and museum on Vancouver Island, BC. Over the past several years, with the help of friends and family, we have renovated the basement of our home into a large museum. The displays here cover from the Boer War, all the way to the Vietnam War of the 1960s.  

We try to cover all aspects and countries involved wherever possible, and we are always looking to add new and interesting displays to help honor the men and women who sacrificed so much for us. We offer guided  tours upon request as well as on site displays for special occasions.

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