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US Aces and Aviators in WW2


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USA citizens served with the British RAF, and the Canadian RCAF. You can search for those who served in Allied air services, as well as those who served in the USAAF, US Navy and US Marine Corps (USMC).

Notable aviators flying in the European Theater of Operations (ETO), Middle East Theater (MET) and Pacific Theater of Opertions (PTO) are listed. Plane types include the P40 Warhawk, P38 Lightning, P47 Thunderbolt, P51 Mustang, and variants of the F4F Wildcat and F4U Corsair and F6F Hellcat. Search on Fighter Groups eg 31FG or VMF-215.

MARINE CORPS DESIGNATIONS: The first letter V stood for Heavier-than-air. Z stood for Lighter-than-air, i.e. dirigibles. The second letter M meant Marine Corps. No 2nd letter, by omission, meant Navy; thus VF-17 was a Navy Fighting Squadron. The third (and possible fourth) letters indicated the purpose of the squadron: F = Fighting, SB = Scout Bombing, TB = Torpedo Bombing, O = Observation, J = Transport & Photographic. Marine Fighting Squadrons were identified by VMF and night fighting squadrons by VMF(N)

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You searched for: “Marine+and+Medal+of+Honor

#NameFirst NamesRankRoleAwardsVictoriesDetailsUnitsTheatreAir ServiceAirplaneDeathSourcesNotesPhoto
1 FossJosephPilotMedal of Honor26.0VMF-121 VMF-115Pacific PTOUS Marine Corps USMCF4U Corsair
VMF-121 Ace Joe Foss and 'Joe's Flying Circus' pilots on Guadalcanal Island.
VMF-115 was organized on 1 July 1943 at Santa Barbara, California under the command of Major John S. MacLaughlin. Sixteen days later, the command was assumed by one of the Marine Corps' most famous Aces, Major Joseph Foss, holder of the World War II Marine Corps record of twenty-six enemy aircraft shot down. The squadron quickly picked up the nickname, "Joe's Joker's." In May 1944, the squadron joined the Pacific campaign flying the legendary F4U-1 Corsair.


2 HansonRobert MPilotMedal of Honor25.0VMF-215Pacific PTOUS Marine Corps USMCF4U Corsair Robert Murray Hanson (February 4, 1920 – February 3, 1944) was a United States Marine Corps flying ace who shot down 25 Japanese planes from the South Pacific skies. He posthumously received the Medal of Honor.
Citation: Medal of Honor: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as a fighter pilot attached to Marine Fighting Squadron TWO FIFTEEN in action against Japanese forces at Bougainville Islands, November 1, 1943, and New Britain Island, January 24, 1944. Undeterred by fierce opposition and fearless in the face of overwhelming odds, First Lieutenant Hanson fought the Japanese boldly and with daring aggressiveness. On November 1, while flying cover for our landing operations at Empress Augusta Bay, he dauntlessly attacked six enemy torpedo bombers, forcing them to jettison their bombs and destroying one Japanese plane during the action. Cut off from his division while deep in enemy territory during a high cover flight over Simpson Harbor on January 24, First Lieutenant Hanson waged a lone and gallant battle against hostile interceptors as they were orbiting to attack our bombers and, striking with devastating fury, brought down four Zeros and probably a fifth. Handling his plane superbly in both pursuit and attack measures, he was a master of individual air combat, accounting for a total of 25 Japanese aircraft in this theater of war. His great personal valor and invincible fighting spirit were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Signed: FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT

3 BoyingtonGregory 'Pappy'PilotMedal of Honor22.0, Some records 26Flying Tigers China, VMF-214Pacific PTOUS Marine Corps USMCP40 Warhawk, F4U Corsair Story
He was awarded the Medal of Honor 'for extraordinary heroism above and beyond the call of duty' while in command of a Marine Fighting Squadron in the Central Solomons Area from 12 September 1943 to 3 January 1944. He was shot down over Rabaul on the latter date, and his capture by the Japanese was followed by 20 months as a prisoner of war.

4 WalshKennethPilotMedal of Honor21.0VMF-124Pacific PTOUS Marine Corps USMCF4U Corsair Walsh received the Medal of Honor for his actions in the Solomon Islands area August 15 – 30, 1943.

5 SmithJohn LPilotMedal of Honor19.0VMF-223Pacific PTOUS Marine Corps USMCF4F Wildcat
6 SwettJames EPilotMedal of Honor15.5VMF-221Pacific PTOUS Marine Corps USMCF4F WildcatF4U CorsairJames Elms Swett (June 15, 1920 – January 18, 2009) was a United States Marine Corps fighter pilot and flying ace during World War II. He was awarded the United States' highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor, for actions while a division flight leader in VMF-221 over Guadalcanal on April 7, 1943. He downed a total of 15.5 enemy aircraft during the war, earning eight Distinguished Flying Crosses and four Air Medals.
7 DeBlancJeffersonPilotMedal of Honor9.0VMF-112Pacific PTOUS Marine Corps USMCF4F WildcatJefferson Joseph DeBlanc was born on February 15, 1921, in Lockport, Louisiana and was reared in St. Martinsville, Louisiana. He entered Navy flight training in July 1941 under the V-5 Program. Transferring to the U.S. Marine Corps upon graduation on April 3, 1942, he was assigned to North Island in San Diego. In October 1942, DeBlanc joined VMF-112 “Wolfpack” ten days before they sailed for the Solomon Islands. He entered combat on November 10, 1942, with less than 10 hours in the F4F Wildcat, and scored a double and one probable two days later when fighter pilots of the “Cactus Air Force” shot down 24 of 25 Betty bombers making runs on the fleet off Henderson Field, Guadalcanal. DeBlanc’s big afternoon came on January 31, 1943, when he shot down two floatplanes and three Zeros about sundown. He was shot down during this engagement, but was picked up by the coast watchers’ network and returned 13 days later. For this action DeBlanc received the Medal of Honor. In 1944 he returned to the Pacific with VMF-422 to the Marshall Islands. The unit later moved up to Okinawa in April 1945, where he scored his last victory, a Val, on May 28. DeBlanc retired with the rank of colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve in 1972, and then he taught in Europe for several years. Decorations: Medal of Honor, Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart and the Air Medal with 4 Gold Stars
8 BauerHarold WPilotMedal of Honor11.0VMF-212Pacific PTOUS Marine Corps USMCF4F Wildcat
9 GalerRobert EPilotMedal of Honor13.0VMF-224Pacific PTOUS Marine Corps USMCF4F WildcatBrigadier General Robert Edward Galer (24 October 1913 – 27 June 2005) was a naval aviator in the United States Marine Corps who received the Medal of Honor for heroism in aerial combat during the Battle of Guadalcanal in World War II. He went on to command Marine Aircraft Group 12 during the Korean War and retired a few years after in 1957.
10 McCampbellDavid PilotMedal of Honor34.0Pacific PTOUS NavyF6F Hellcat
11 ShomoBillPilotMedal of Honor8.082TRSPacific PTOUSAAFP51 Mustang
12 KearbyNeelPilotMedal of Honor22.0342nd Fighter Squadron (Scourgers), 348FGPacific PTOUSAAFP47 Thunderbolt1944-03-01The 342nd FS was best known for its commander, Col. Neel Kearby, who was credited with 22 victories until he was himself lost in combat piloting P-47D "Firey Ginger" on March 1, 1944. Also memorialized in the squadronyearbook are MIA and KIA pilots: Lt. Pratt, F/O Desilets, Lt. Frankfort and Lt. Luton.
13 McGuireThomasPilotMedal of Honor38.0475FGPacific PTOUSAAFP38 Lightning
14 BongRichard IPilotMedal of Honor40.049FGPacific PTOUSAAFP38 LightningStory
15 HowardJamesPilotMedal of Honor12.3354FGEurope ETOUSAAFP51 Mustang
16 O'HareEdward 'Butch'PilotMedal of Honor7.0Pacific PTOUS NavyF4F Wildcat 80-G-K-892-B. Lieutenant Edward H. Butch O'Hare (shown right) in front of his Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat fighter, April 1942. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for shooting down five Japanese planes on 20 February 1942 while he was defending Lexington during the raid on Rabaul.
17 PayneFrederick Rounsville Jr. 'Fritz' 2nd Lt, Colonel, Brigadier General Navy Cross, Legion of Merit with Combat Vt, DFC, Air Medal (4 Gold Stars) 5.5VMF-223 (as detached), VMF-212Pacific PTOUSMCWildcat Born 1911-07-31, at Elmira, New York. Culver Military Academy in Indiana before U.S. Naval Academy in July 1930. Resigning from the Academy in 1932. University of Arizona in January 1935. Upon graduation he resigned his Army ROTC commission and entered the Marine Corps aviation cadet program that July. Flight training at Pensacola, commissioned a second lieutenant in July 1936. Naval Aviator in September. First combat at Guadalcanal in September 1942 on detached duty with VMF-223. Half-share in a Japanese twin-engine bomber on September 14, solo victory two weeks later. VMF-212 in October: Shot down 2 bombers and 2 Zekes between October 18 and 23. After World War II a variety of duties followed including 1st Marine Air Wing in Korea, helicopter unit command and responsibilities for air elements in atomic weapons tests during 1957. Retired as brigadier general 1958-08-01.

18 HammersEddiePilotVMF-115Pacific PTOUS Marine Corps USMCF4F Wildcat ?
VMF-115, Eddie Hammers, Santa Barbara, 1943

19 FowlerWilliam 'Flaps'PilotDFC USA Oak Leaf Cluster

Air Medal 3 Oak Clusters
487 Sqd 354 FG
ETOUSAAFP-47 P-51'Stardust' 2008-01-24 Monmouth Cemetery, Warren County Illinois
20 BrooksJames LynnPilot Silver Star, DFC (Oak Leaf Cluster), Air Medal (20 Oak Leaf Clusters), Unit Citation 13.031FGMiddle East METUSAAFP51 Mustang Born 1921-01-08, in Binton, Virginia. 1942-04-06, joined the Army. Flight training 1942-08-23. 2nd Lt on 1943-05-24 May 24 to Panama, flew P-39s and P-40s. First victory over Campina on 1944-05-18 , Italian Fiat G-50. 3 x Me-109s on May 24 and 29 and June 23. An ace on July 18 Italian Mc-205. Captain 1944-09-09. Returned to combat during the Korean War, he flew F-86s with the 4th FG and participated in the first big all-jet air battle over the Yalu River involving twelve MiGs and four Sabres on December 22, 1950. Resigned from Air Force 1951-04-16, and joined North American Aviation as an engineering test pilot. One of the founders and first president of the American Fighter Aces Association and past president of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots.
21 JohnsonRobert Samuel 'Bobby'Pilot DSC DFC (RAF) DFC (US x8) Air Medal (x4) 27.056FGEurope ETOUSAAFP47 Thunderbolt1998-12-27 Born 21 February 1920 in Lawton, Oklahoma Reporting to the 61FS 19 July 1942 in Bridgeport, Conn. That unit arriving in the UK, 13 January 1943 After the war he became a test pilot for Republic Aviation.

22 EdensBilly Gene2nd Lt, later ColonelPilot Silver Star, DFC (3 Oak Clusters), Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Medal (15 Oak Lef Clusters) 762 Fighter Squadron 56 FGETO EuropeUSAAFP-47 Thunderbolt Born in Cassville, Missouri 1923-01-23. Joined USAAF 1942-06-23. Aviation cadet on 1943 -05-03. Second lieutenant 1943-11-03. April 1944 assigned to the 62nd Fighter Squadron of the 56th Fighter Group, out of Boxted, England. 1944-06-08, the 62nd supported bombers attacking Dreux. Returning to base Edenssaw fighters taking off from Illiers Airdrome. Pursued Me-109 which was closing on Blue Leader, Mark Moseley, and exploded it. Soon Moseley again found a Messerschmitt on his tail and again Edens closed, blasting it from 100 yards. July 5, Edens downed a FW-190 and two days later he became an ace on a 'Ramrod' mission to Leipzig. On September 10, his P-47 was shot down near Trier while strafing Seligenstadt Airdrome and he spent the rest of the war as a POW. Following the war, Edens flew F-84s in Korea and F-100s in the Dominican Republic and Vietnam. Retired from the Air Force as a colonel. Decorations: Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, Bronze Star, Purple Heart with one OLC and the Air Medal with 15 OLCs
23 BuxtonFrances 'Buck'PilotVMF-115Pacific PTOUS Marine Corps USMCF4F Wildcat ?
VMF-115 Buck Buxton showing 4 victories with his fingers, Bougainville Island 1944

24 OlsenTheodoreMajorPilotVMF-313Pacific PTOUS Marine Corps USMCF4U Corsair
Major Theodore Olsen, commanding officer of VMF-313 stands in front of his badly damaged Corsair. He was later killed in action.

25 RosenblattCharles JMaj
DFC & Bar

Air Medal

3 x Oak Leaf Clusters
4Europe, KoreaUSAAF Credited with destroying four Nazi planes and damaging three others. Rosenblatt served in the U.S. Air Force for 22 years, and was a fighter pilot during both World War II and the Korean Conflict. He received two Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Air Medal, and three Oak Leaf Clusters in World War II alone.
1944: with ground crew Sgts. Purdue and Culver
26 PoundRalston Murphy Jr.DFC (Gold Star) Air Medal (2 Gold Stars)6VF-16PTO PacificUS NavyF6F Hellcat Born 1920-12-31, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Navy flight program 1941-08-28. Wings 1942-07-18, at Opa Locka, Florida. Lieutenant (jg) 1943-07-01. VF-16 flying F6F Hellcats from the USS Lexington (CV-16) in August. 1943. At Kwajelein Atoll, Pound shot down a Zeke and a Hap and probably destroyed another Hap December 4. Carrier torpedoed that night and limped back to Hawaii and on to the States for repairs. Pound joined VF-9 on the Essex for strikes on Truk, February 16 and 17 and Saipan on the 22nd. Rejoined Lexington and VF-16 at Majuro Islands in mid-March. Pound shot down three Zekes to become an ace April 1944. Shot down a Judy during the “Great Marianas Turkey Shoot” on June 19 1944 for his last victory. Retired in July 1969 as a commander in USN Reserve.
27 MurrayRichard L.PilotVMSB-151Pacific PTOUS Marine Corps USMCSBD Dauntless
Richard E. Murray assigned to VMSB-151 in cockpit of an SBD Dauntless. Flew with VMSB-151 off the Marshall Islands on Engibe Island.

28 MoatsSanford Kenneth 'Kenny'Lt. Gen DSC, DSM (2 Oak Leaf Clusters), Legion of Merit, DFC (Oak Leaf Cluster), Air Medal (11 Oak Lea Clusters), Spanish Grand Cross with White Ribbon, Croix de Guerre with Palm (Belgium,) 8.5487 Fighter Squadron, 352 FGETO EuropeUSAAFP-51 Mustang Born Kansas City, Missouri 1921-12-04. Kansas State College before entering the Army Air Forces as an aviation cadet. 2Lt 1943-12-05. Sent to England in early 1944. Assigned to the 487th Fighter Squadron, 352nd Fighter Group, stationed at Bodney. 8 1/2 German aircraft destroyed between 1944-06-18 and 1945-01-01, including four FW-190s on New Years’ Day. In 1965 became vice commander of the 401st Tactical Fighter Wing at England AFB, Louisiana. 18 combat missions in Vietnam during temporary deployment to southeast Asia. Following the wing’s move to Torrejon, Spain, he became wing commander and, after his promotion to brigadier general, was named vice commander of Sixteenth Air Force. From 1969 to 1975, vice commander, Tenth Air Force, commander of the 26th Air Division, commander of Sixteenth Air Force and commander of the Sixth Allied Tactical Air Force in Turkey. In 1975 he became vice- commander of the Tactical Air Command, from which he retired as a lieutenant general on July 1, 1977.
29 SchubertCarl O.CaptainPilotVMF-321Pacific PTOUS Marine Corps USMCF4U Corsair
Capt.Carl O. Schubert VMF-321 'Hells Angels'

30 GordonRobert1st Lt.PilotVMF-215Pacific PTOUS Marine Corps USMCF4U Corsair
Ace 1st Lt. Robert Gordon of VMF-215 lands first F4U-1 Corsair on Munda airfield in New Georgia. The first aircraft into Munda were P-40s of the 44th FS about 15 minutes earlier which pissed off the Marines. Twerp #126 was flown by Frank Gaunt the first pilot into Munda Point field.

31 McCallLewis2nd Lt.PilotVMF-222Pacific PTOUS Marine Corps USMCF4U Corsair
McCall, in the cockpit of his F4U-1A

32 TraversJ.P.PilotVMF-212Pacific PTOUS Marine Corps USMCF4F Wildcat
1944- U.S. Marine Ace Lieut. J.P. Travers of VMF-212 the 'Hell Hounds' on Bougainville.

33 StubbCaptainPilotVMF-115Pacific PTOUS Marine Corps USMC
VMF-115 pilots, Bougainville Island, 1944 First section : Capt. Stub and Lt Rainalter Second section : Lt Rosenboom and Lt Robinson

34 FrazierKenneth DPilotNavy Cross12.5VMF-223Pacific PTOUS Marine Corps USMCF4F Wildcat
35 AldrichDonald NPilotNavy Cross20.0VMF-215Pacific PTOUS Marine Corps USMCF4U Corsair
36 CarlMarion EPilotNavy Cross18.5VMF-223Pacific PTOUS Marine Corps USMCF4F Wildcat
37 ThomasWilbur JPilotNavy Cross18.5VMF-213Pacific PTOUS Marine Corps USMCF4U Corsair
38 SpearsHarold LPilotDFC15.0VMF-215Pacific PTOUS Marine Corps USMCF4U Corsair
39 DonahueArchie GlennPilotDFC14.0VMF-112Pacific PTOUS Marine Corps USMCF4U Corsair
40 CuppJames NPilotNavy Cross13.0VMF-213Pacific PTOUS Marine Corps USMCF4U Corsair
41 MarontateWilliam PPilotNavy Cross13.0VMF-121Pacific PTOUS Marine Corps USMCF4F Wildcat
42 ShawEdward OPilotDFC13.0VMF-213Pacific PTOUS Marine Corps USMCF4U Corsair
43 VMF-323 Death RattlersPilot-5+VMF-323Pacific PTOUS Marine Corps USMCF4U Corsair
44 EvertonLoren DPilotNavy Cross12.0VMF-212Pacific PTOUS Marine Corps USMCF4F Wildcat
45 SegalHarold EPilotDFC12.0VMF-221Pacific PTOUS Marine Corps USMCF4U Corsair
46 MageeChris 'Wildman'PilotNavy Cross9.0VMF-214Pacific PTOUS Marine Corps USMCF4U Corsair Story
47 WadeRobertPilotNavy Cross8.0VMF-323Pacific PTOUS Marine Corps USMCF4U Corsair
48 BoltJohnPilotNavy Cross6.0VMF-214Pacific PTOUS Marine Corps USMCF4U CorsairStory Korean ace also
49 PorterR. BrucePilotDFC5.0VMF-121 VMF(N)-542Pacific PTOUS Marine Corps USMCF4U Corsair F6F Hellcat
50 VMF-214 Black Sheep AcesPilot-5+VMF-214Pacific PTOUS Marine Corps USMCF4U Corsair

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