Gone but not for-Gaudé-tten

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kimberly L. Mueller
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

On Jan. 26, 1977, Gaudé Lanes, Keesler’s 24-lane bowling center, was named after Biloxi native 1st Lt. Robert P. Gaudé Jr., 430th Fighter Bomber Squadron pilot.

Gaudé commissioned in June 1951 from the Georgia Institute of Technology and finished pilot training at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, December 1952. He was killed in action while on a bomb run over a road bridge south of Kuni-ri, North Korea, during the Korean War on July 10, 1953, after flying 38 combat missions in an F-84 Thunderjet. After his death, Gaudé was classified as killed in action and his remains have not been recovered.

He earned multiple awards and decorations during his career, such as the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with oak leaf cluster, United Nations Service Medal, Korean Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.

The bowling center is accessible by Defense Department cardholders and contains 24 bowling lanes, the 11th Frame Café, a pro shop and a sports bar.

Gaudé Lanes has continued to provide morale, welfare and recreation for Airmen and families at Keesler while following COVID-19 safety guidance. Currently, the bowling center only allows four patrons per lane with each group one lane apart, requires the use of face masks and equipment is sanitized after each game.

“Being quarantined is stifling,” said Aeria Lumpkin, 11th Frame Café cashier. “Even though the technical training students have freedom around base they need more places to go than the Vandenberg Commons. We’ve got hundreds of students that need an outlet and we like being an option for them.”

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