Colonel Hubert Zemke has been ordered to headquarters of the North American Air Defense Command at Ent Air Force Base at Colorado Springs, Colorado.
His contemplated duties will be as secretary to the joint staff at the base. He will leave Laughlin Air Force Base Dec. 11.
Colonel Zemke has been stationed at Laughlin since May, coming here from Turner Air Force Base, Georgia, where he was in command of Turner's famous 31st Strategic Fighter Wing before taking command of the 40th Air Division at Turner October 11, 1955.
He holds the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star with cluster, the Distinguished Flying Cross with six clusters, and the Air Medal with three clusters. Foreign awards are the British Distinguished Flying Cross, French Croix de Guerre with palm. He is rated a Command Pilot and has logged more than 4,000 hours in fighters.
Colonel Zemke, born March 14, 1914, in Missoula, Montana, entered the service at Randolph Field in February, 1936, as an aviation cadet, graduating from advanced flying school at Kelly Field a year later. He was attached to the RAF Fighter Command as an observer in England in March, 1941, and in June of that year he was sent to Soviet Russia as assistant military attache. He traveled to Russia on the first convoy to ply the route to Murmansk and served as a test pilot for American aircraft sent to the Russians under the lend-lease provisions. He traveled extensively in Russia to Smolensk, Archangel, Kryhyshev, Stalingrad and Baku.
When the United States entered World War Two, Colonel Zemke was in Moscow observing defense plans against the German attacks. He returned to the United States in March, 1942, and was assigned to the 80th Fighter Group at Mitchell Field, N.Y., where he served as group material officer.
Late in December, when he was in command of the 56th Fighter Group, the entire group transferred to England as part of the Eighth Fighter Command, U. S. Army Air Corps. He received his temporary grade of Colonel in May, 1943, and in August the next year he became commander of the 479th Fighter Group.
With the Eighth Air Force, Col. Zemke was credited with 30 1/2 confirmed victories, 19 1/2 planes destroyed in the air and 11 on the ground, piling up 462 combat hours while flying 155 combat missions in P-38s, P-47s, and P-51s.
He was shot down October 31, 1944, during a raid over Hamburg, Germany, and was assigned to Stalag Luft No. 1 as a prisoner of war. He served as senior Allied commander of the prison camp there, with 9,000 Allied prisoners. They were liberated by the Russians May 6, 1945. From the time of liberation to August, he served with SHEAF Headquarters, expediting the return of Allied prisoners of war from the European Theatre.
Colonel Zemke is married to the former Maria Midulla of Tampa, Florida, and they have two children, Hubert, Jr., 15, and Marsha Ann, 9.
Sources: LHF Archives Del Rio News-Herald Microfilm Archives Thursday afternoon, December 5, 1957