Charles E. LeGrand
CHARLES E. LeGRAND, born: January 1, 1923, Benton, Missouri. Graduated:
Class 44-D, Spence Fld., Moultrie, Georgia.
Transitioned to P-40's then to P-47's, Norfolk, Virginia.
Crash landed and totaled out one each
Razorback Jug into the wooded area off the
end of the runway. (Due to engine failure,
Labor Day, 1944). Walked away from burning wreckage, unhurt (scratched left elbow).
Lost my sunglasses and wristwatch.
Departed U.S.A. August, 1944, for European Theatre of Operations.
Assigned to 368th Fighter Group, 397
Fighter Squadron "Jabo Angels" then at
Mons, Belgium, November, 1944.
The "Battle of Bulge" forced the 368th to
move to Rheims, France. Arrived there
Christmas Eve, 1944 (colder'n hell).
Pitched tents, stayed only a few days then we
moved to Metz, France. Arriving New Year's
Day, 1945. One of the squadrons was flying
a mission, while one squadron had flown a
mission and landed at Metz. France. One
other squadron was on the ground preparing
for take off, when the Germans came in with
a bunch of ME-109s ands straffed the hell out
of us. I believe we lost ten to twelve P-47's
and several were damaged.
I flew 52 missions. Engaged in three major
campaigns and one dog-fight in April, 1945.
Shot down one ME-109 and damaged one.
Was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross,
Air.Medal with six oak leaf clusters, and the
Air Force Commendation Medal. After the
end of the war, our group was assigned to the
Having enough points, I was allowed to
return to the U.S.A. via New York. Entering
New York Harbor, our ship, "USS Sea.Porpoise" was met by a couple of ships loaded
with bands. This along with the sight of the
Statute of Liberty was an unforgettable emotional experience, causing tears and a choked
up speechless feeling. (I had the same feelings
as I wrote this).
After returning to the Port, I was transferred to Jefferson Barracks, Missouri. While
enroute to J.B., the "A" bomb was dropped
on Japan and the war ended, canceling my
assignment to that area.
I was released from active duty November,
1945. Returned to Benton, Missouri, and
married Mildred S. Urhahn, (hometown
school sweetheart) May, 1947.
Was recalled to active duty March, 1948.
Assignments included: Aircraft Commander/Instructor pilot B-47's; 97th Bombwing
SAC and Aircraft Commander; B-52 4135
Strat. Wing SAC, Eglin, AFB, Florida.
Retired after 23 years service in the grade
of Lt. Colonel, June 30, 1965.
Settled in O'Fallon, Illinois.
Children: 1 son, Dr. Daniel (surgeon) age
33; 5 daughters, Charlene (R.N.) age 31,
Mildred J. (artist) age 27, Kathleen (bank
accountant) age 23, Harriet (nurse) age 20,
Lynda (student) age 1-5.
P-47 transition followed at Pocatello, Idaho and Greenville, Texas after which he was assigned to the 56th Fighter Group in England. When the news of his arrival reached Berlin, Hitler retired to his bunker with his cyanide capsule and revolver. Eva found the news equally depressing.
Asa A. Adair
He returned to the States in August of 1944 after participating in the invasion "D" Day. He flew P-63's, P-51's, F-80's, T-33's, F-84's, T-38's, P-47's in numerous assignments during the following twenty years in in, Japan, U.S.A. and Europe before retiring after twenty-six years of Active Duty.
Edward B. Addison
The 507th Fighter Group, equipped with P-47N's, won the Presidential Unit Citation for destroying 32 Japanese aircraft in the air on one mission to Seoul, Korea. The average flying time for raids to Korea and Japan would be 7 to 9 hours flying time. In a total of 31 months, the 507th not only provided top cover for B-29's, but also
dive-bombed, napalm-bombed and flew low-level on strafing missions.
Levon B. Agha-Zarian
It is rumored that he, took his primary training on a flying rug. He flew Spits, briefly, in England, but as the, war moved to the East, he was sent to India as a Sgt. Pilot and first saw action from Ceylon, flying the Curtiss P.36, the Brewster Buffalo, and the Hurricane. At this point he might have opted for the rug! This was at the time of the fall of Singapore and the sinking of the Prince of Wales and the Repulse.
George N. Ahles
Posted to A-20 light bomber squadron Barksdale Field, Louisiana. . Group moved to Hunter Air Base Savannah, Georgia. Qualified for Pilot training November 1940. Entered Aviation Cadets January 1942. Presented wings November 1942 class of 42-J. Married Mary Louise while in Advanced Pilot Training at Craig AFB, Selma, Alabama, September 1942.
Roy J. Aldritt
Shortly after the group moved to France he ran into some unseen flak and was forced to make a nylon descent behind the lines; some evasion and a lot of luck had him back with his unit
in 24 hours.
Eugene J. Amaral
After graduation from Stonington High School he enlisted as an Aviation Cadet in December 1942 and was called to active duty in March, 1943. He received his wings and commission at Spence Field, Georgia as a member of the Class of 43-C.
Talmadge L. Ambrose
Flew 84 missions thru VE Day, was downed by 22mm ground fire over Siefried Line. He destroyed 11 enemy aircraft, 9 known confirmed in air and on
ground, including 4 FW 190-D's in one afternoon over Hanover, Germany, April 8, 1945. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross,
Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, 17 man, Oak Leaf Clusters, Good Conduct Medal, Pacific Theatre and European Theatre Meda1s with 5 Battle
Stars and Unit Citation Medal.
John C. Anderson
After P-47 transition he was assigned to the 406th Fighter Group, 512th Fighter Squadron. (E.T
.0.) He flew 56 missions through January, 1945 destroying supply routes, bridges, and railroads; he also flew close support missions with the ground forces, with attacks on tanks, artillery and enemy positions.
It was not always flak,two ME-109's beat the hell out of me one day. The central controller called me and said "Basher-Red Leader do you have contact Bandits," I replied, "I sure do, I'll bring them over the field in 3 minutes, they're chasing me home." Got all the usual medals including two Belgium and two French but one I'm most proud of is the Silver Star -it is the greatest.