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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.

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 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.
8 BauerHarold WPilotMedal of Honor11.0VMF-212Pacific PTOUS Marine Corps USMCF4F Wildcat
9 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

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Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them. Franklin Delano Roosevelt

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