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World War II Ace, NJ ANG AG Dies: Retired Air National Guard Maj. Gen. Francis R. Gerard, who shot down eight German aircraft during World War II, died Nov. 1, reports The Leader. Gerard was 84 years old. Following the war, during which he flew P-51 Mustangs with the 503rd Fighter Squadron, Gerard left active duty, became an attorney and joined the New Jersey Air Guard. He served during the Korean War and the Berlin Airlift, rising to major general in 1977. During his career, he commanded the 108th Tactical Fighter Wing, headed the New Jersey ANG, and served as the New Jersey Adjutant General from 1982 until his retirement in 1989.