P47 Pilots Biographies, Last Name Starting With "L"
Robert O. Larson
Entered Cadets in
class 43-F, the all ex-G.I. class. Moved up to
43-E and wore enlisted O.D. uniform
through Basic Training finally getting pinks
and green coat from a washout. Trained at
Stamford, TX, Waco, and Victoria in AT.6's.
Set gunnery record at Matagorda Island with
23 hits on an aerial target out of 25 shots
(gun jammed then). Instructed in flexible
gunnery at Laredo Air Base and survived
being hit in aileron and tail assembly by
hysterical gunner in rear seat.
John D. Lavelle
JOHN D. "JACK" LAVELLE, was
in the class of 40.C and a proud P-47 pilot -
a very proud Fighter Pilot.......
John F. Leamon
JOHN F. LEAMON almost missed
combat duty but managed to get in fifteen
P-47 missions over Germany before the Hun
gave up in May 1945. He joined the 377th
Fighter Squadron, 362nd Fighter Group,
9th Air Force on April 4, 1945 at Etain,
France and was immediately engaged in close
support work for Patton's ground troops.
the Singular Distinction of being the most
current Thunderbolt Pilot. Flew the P-47
"N" model "Prang Jug" at Republic Airport
Lindbergh Day Celebration May 16th and
17th, 1977 for a total of two and one half
Charles E. LeGrand
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......
Charles William Lenfest
WWII FIGHTER ACE!
Chuck Lenfest graduated from US Military Academy in January 1943 following completion of Flight School in December, 1942. He had approximately 500 hours of single engine time before flying his first combat mission with the 354th FS/355th FG in September 1943. He destroyed his first Me 109 on March 16, 1944 while his flight destroyed 4 more. Lenfest became an Ace on 6 August, 1944 early in his second tour, as 354FS Ops Officer, then led the 354th on the last Shuttle Mission over Warsaw in September, 1944.
John M. Lepry
He took part in the destruction of bridges,
railroads, trains, trucks, ammunition dumps,
and anything that moved on the highway. He
also flew many close support missions. In
January, 1945, the 86th Fighter Group
moved to France where the same kinds of
missions were flown into Germany. He flew
101 missions and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with 3
clusters, and the Soldier's Medal
Francis E. Lewis
the 36th for a second tour in jet fighters, the
F-84, and returned home after 35 more
missions and one MIG-15 probable late in
1951. Assigned to strategic nuclear fighters
in SAC, he flew F-84F's with the 12th Strat
Fighter Wing at Bergstrom AFB for six years,
marrying Merle Tooke, and fathering daughter, Kathy, before taking on an AFIT university program at the University of Texas.
Kenneth R. Lewis
Had Gunnery - P40
- on Matagorda Island and Combat Training - P47 - at Wendover, Utah. Was sent
overseas in October, 1944, on Liberty Ship
"Cornelius Gilliam" to Mediterranean Theater, assigned to 66th Fighter Squadron -
57th Fighter Group at Grossetto, Italy. He
completed 101 Missions as part of "Operation Strangle" - Dive Bombing, Strafing,
Close Support, Flak Diversion, Bomber
Escort and Weather Reconnaissance as part
of Northern Appenines and Po Valley Campaigns.
He was assigned to
the 53rd Fighter Squadron, 36th Group and
after 10 months of simulated attack on bomber aircraft at Biggs Field, Texas and Ainsworth, Neb., the Group was sent to the ETO.
He flew 36 missions (ground support and
some escort) until being clobbered by a tank
on a strafing pass. Nine months were spent as
a POW in Stalag Luft I. He returned to the
U.S. and went into the Federal Aviation
Administration (then C.A.A.).
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