“Mongo” shot down an Iraqi MiG-21 during his first of 25 combat missions. Register to hear this amazing story from a TOPGUN Executive Tactics Instructor!
CAPT Nicholas Mongillo was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut and grew up in Stratford, Connecticut. He was commissioned via Aviation Officer Candidate School in June of 1986. Mongillo served as a student pilot earning his “Wings of Gold” in Nov 1987. He then reported to the “Frogs” of Training Squadron 19 at NAS Meridian, Mississippi for assignment as a T-2C Buckeye Flight Instructor under the Selectively Retained Graduate (SERGRAD) program.
In December 1989 he reported to the “Gladiators” of Strike Fighter Squadron 106, Jacksonville, Florida, for initial FA-18 Hornet training. He was then assigned to the “Sunliners” of Strike Fighter Squadron 81. While assigned there, he deployed twice with Carrier Air Wing 17 onboard the USS Saratoga (CV 60) and participated in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. During Desert Storm, he downed an Iraqi MiG-21 during his first of 25 combat missions, earning a Silver Star Medal
In March 1993 he reported to the “Blackbirds” of Fighter Squadron 45 as an Adversary Instructor in Key West, Florida before reporting back to the “Gladiators” as a FA-18 instructor. During his Gladiator tour he earned the 1996 Flight Instructor of the Year Award. Following his instructor duty, he reported to the “Marauders” of Strike Fighter Squadron 82, and deployed with Carrier Air Wing 1 onboard USS George Washington (CVN 73) in support of Operation Southern Watch. During his Marauder tour, Mongillo earned the Commanding Officer’s Junior Officer Leadership Award.
In August 2000, Mongillo reported to the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center, Fallon, Nevada and served as the TOPGUN Executive Officer and a Tactics Instructor.
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