Triple ace and aviation legend Brig. Gen. C.E. Bud Anderson died Friday at his home in Auburn, California, at the age of 102. Anderson earned 16 kills in the European Theater during the Second World War and The New York Times says he was the last of the triple aces of his era. He reportedly died in his sleep. Anderson was a P-51 pilot in the Second World War assigned to the 357th Fighter Group and flew with Brig. Gen. Chuck Yeager. He continued his career after the war, joining the flight test program at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio before flying 25 missions in an F-105 Thunderchief in Vietnam as a wing commander. He retired in 1972 and joined McDonnell Aircraft Company at Edwards Air Force Base as head of flight test.

Anderson was a longtime EAA Warbirds supporter and regular attendee at AirVenture flying a P-51 with the Old Crow nose art that he used in Europe. He flew in a two-seat P-51 at AirVenture 2022 and attended the 2023 show. EAA Warbirds of America said, “Bud was our friend and in a very special way a part of our Warbird family.” Tributes are pouring in for Anderson. Funeral arrangements have not been announced.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.


  1. McDonnell Douglas, perhaps?

    Pretty much the last anything of your era at 102…

    Another on the list of biographies I need to read.

  2. RIP General Anderson. Years ago at the biplane fly-in at Bartlesville I had the pleasure of speaking with him for a bit.

  3. I’ve spoken to General Anderson a number of times at Oshkosh and he was the nicest guy you’d ever want to meet. He’s a member of “The Greatest Generation” and it showed.
    Rest in peace sir – you’ve served your Country well.
    Old Crow forever…

  4. We were fortunate to have Gen. Bud Anderson and his son, give a talk at a EAA1541 chapter meeting in 2022, at the Lincoln Airport, KLHM. At 100, he spoke clearly on his career.
    His book is well worth getting.

  5. A true military man and soldier! All that he had previously done, then to fly 25 very dangerous missions in an F105 in Vietnam. Sir, wish I would have had a chance to stand before you and salute.

    • Brig. Gen. Clarence “Bud” Anderson’s contributions to aviation and his remarkable service record make him a revered figure in military history. His legacy as an exemplary airborne warrior serves as an inspiration to generations of pilots and aviation enthusiasts, embodying the spirit of courage, dedication, and excellence. May He rest In Peace.

  6. A true gentleman and a Patriot in addition to being a great pilot. He always made time to talk to the kids and adults as well, very personable and approachable. Bud made those he met feel comfortable and at ease when they were around him. As I said, a true gentleman. God Speed Bud.