P47 Pilots Biographies, Last Name Starting With "D"
The 318th was one of the few combat units
flying the P-4 7N. Operating out of Ie Shima,
this was a necessity, as the nearest enemy
coast was 450 miles away - over water. The
average mission was 7 '/2 hours. An escort
mission to Seoul, Korea, called for 400
gallons minimum gas over the target and
lasted 91/2-10 hours.
A. Frank Dalton
In addition to dive bombing, strafing and patrol missions, he escorted light bombers of the 9th in raids over France and
the low countries. Some missions were flown
with the 48th joining fighters of the 8th Air
Force escorting B-17 and B-24s in raids over
On June 27, 1944, the 48th went to
France where they flew from a dirt strip.
Within a few days, they took part in the first
great tank battle between American and German armor in France.
On his 30th mission,. July 23, 1944,
flying at 200 feet, trying to destroy a German
observation tower, he was shot down by
ground fire and crashed in the woods.
George R. Davis
Later, his unit continued training at
Republic Aircraft Field in Farmingdale, L.I.
The unit proceeded to England in December
1943, being assigned to the 9th Air Force.
After a few escort missions, the objective was
close support to ground troops. Davis participated in the first scheduled flight of planes to land on the continent at a partially completed
air strip near the Normandy beachhead in
France, this being two days after the "D" Day
invasion. He followed and gave support to
ground troops through France, Belgium and
into Germany,the final base being at Frankfurt
Ernest D. Davis, Sr.
1952 brought assignment to the 1738th
Ferry Sq. in Long Beach, Calif. where he
again flew P-47s delivering them to the
Caribbean Island Nations and South America. He then flew F-86 and F-100 jets and was
assigned as Det. Comm. at North American
Aviation. During this period he delivered jet
fighters across the North Atlantic on "High
Flights" where, as Mission Commander for
10 missions, he received an Air Medal. Transferring in 1957 to Osan AFB Korea, he was
an Operations Officer with the 311th Ftr.
Sq. where he was awarded his Command Pilot
Rating. Returning to Andrews AFB, he
served until his retirement as a Major in
Deaton's first assignment 31st Pursuit
Grp, Selfridge Field. Trained under Neal
Kearby flying P-26, P-35, P-36, P-40, and
P-39. He claims undisputed record of most
"ground loops" in Seversky P-35, 3 times on
his back. Each time as number 3 man in V
landing formation on sod field at Selfridge,
flying Neal Kearby's wing. Attributed to
seige of flat tires after air-born.
Robert R. Deen
Due to lack of fuel 93rd was detached
to Gushkara, India and pilots from other two
squadrons rotated through to maintain proficiency. During 20 months in CBI managed to acquire a grand total of two combat missions;
both of which are still the lot of the interceptor pilot - early morning, not yet light, soup
on the deck and up to just above assigned
angels and "Bogey" identified as friendly
just after wheels are in the well.
Only then we
had no instrument training, a bare bones
cockpit and no nav aids. Don't tell me Jug
pilots knew no fear!
John T. Delaney
On March 24, 1945 he flew a flak
suppression mission in support of the airborne
invasion across the northern Rhine at Wesel,
Germany. He and his aircraft were hit by
ground fire. He bailed out and was injured
further when he hit the vertical fin of his
Thunderbolt. He was captured by a German
William F. DeSante
to Mokalaie Air Base, Oahu for final training
before tactical assignment in 318th Fighter
Group (73rd Fighter Squadron) on Ie Shima.
Operated from this base with strikes on the
Japanese island of Kyushu :until the cessation
of hostilities. At that time was transferred to
507th Fighter Group and then to Headquarters 8th A.F. on Okinawa as Staff Classification and Assignment officer until August
Robert D. Dillon, Jr.
ROBERT D. DILLON, JR., born
October 8, 1924 in New Orleans, La. and
was educated in public schools. As soon as he
reached 18 yrs. old he enlisted in the Air
Corps as a private and was assigned to Randolph Field. At Randolph he passed the cadet exam and then was sent to Santa Anna, Calif.
for pre-flight, Ryan Field for primary, Maranna for basic, and finished at Williams Field in Class 44-A in P-38's.
William C. Diman
WILLIAM C. DIMAN, born Septemberr 18, 1919, in Cranston, Rhode Island.
Graduated from that city's high school in
1937 and became a professional acrobat,
performing in night clubs and theaters. His partner and he were billed as "The Aristocrats of Balance."
The day after Pearl Harbor he enlisted in
the Army Air Corps and was sworn in the day
after Christmas. His first assignment was
changing engines on Bell Air Cobras, P-39's.
In order to qualify for cadet training,
Corporal Diman studied algebra, trigonometry, etc., in the evening while the rest of the camp slept
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