Colonel C. J. Tippett in the cockpit of a Lockheed T-33 in Panama, 1955 - 1960

Colonel C. J. Tippett in the cockpit of a Lockheed T-33 in Panama, 1955 – 1960

For Colonel C. J. Tippett, aviation pioneer and Director of the South American Office of the International Civil Aviation Organization in 1960, active duty orders were literally a license to fly…. the T-Bird, the Lockheed T-33 jet trainer!

Tip, while living and working in Lima, Peru, had qualified in the T-33 in 1955 and any chance to report for duty at Albrook Air Force Base in Panama was a chance to climb into the T-33 cockpit.

Tip’s orders speak for themselves:


Caribbean Air Command 

United States Air Force 

Albrook Air Force Base 

Canal Zone 

Reserve Orders Number 13 May 5, 1960

Personnel Data: By direction of the President Colonel Cloyce J. Tippett AO (redacted) (Ready Reservist) (Command Pilot-On Flying Status) (Primary AFSC-redacted) (Present Address: Apartado redacted Lima Peru) is ordered to active duty for a period of 15 days for the purpose of training.

Security Clearance: Secret.

Assignment: DCS/Operations HQ Caribbean Air Command Albrook Air Force Base Canal Zone.

Reporting Data: Effective date of training 16 May 1960. Report to DSC/Operations this headquarters not later than 16 May 1960. Officer will be released from organization assigned in time to arrive at place from which ordered to active duty on effective date of release from training 30 May 1960 on which date he will revert to inactive status unless sooner relieved. (this is not my syntax, I swear – it is gen-u-ine USAF order speakery)

General Instructions: Officer is authorized to participate in flying activities during the period of active duty covered by this order.

Authority: Paragraph 1b. AFR 45-28 6 3 1957.

Transportation: You will proceed from present address on effective date of training. Travel by military aircraft is directed when available. PCS. TDN. Pay and allowances are chargeable.

For the Commander: W.H. Fleetwood 

SIGNED CWO. W-4 USAF Asst Director of Administrative Services”

For more T-33 flight adventures, and the full story of Tip’s aviation history life, check for the book “When No One Else Would Fly” or contact us to be added to the list for upcoming release.


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