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First Lieutenant Arthur E. Wenige

First Lieutenant Arthur E. Wenige

First Lieutenant Arthur E. Wenige

Arthur Elmore Wenige, a New Yorker born on 7 July 1921, entered the Army aviation cadet program in 1941. He successfully completed flight training on 3 July 1942, graduating in Class 42-F at Spence Field, Georgia. After a brief indoctrination into fighters, he was sent to the Southwest Pacific, joining the 49th Fighter Group at Port Moresby, New Guinea on 1 October 1942. Upon entering the combat theater, he had barely logged 260 hours total flight time.

Second Lieutenant Wenige learned quickly. Flying P-40 Warhawks with the 9th Fighter Squadron, he first saw action over Dobodura the day after Christmas. In that combat he claimed one Mitsubishi Zeke shot down and another probably destroyed.

By the following summer Wenige was a first lieutenant, flying a Lockheed P-38 Lightning with the 475th Fighter Group. Ironically, "Satan's Angels" now flew from the old Dobodura strip where Wenige had fought eight months before. On 16 August he led a flight of the 431st squadron, recording two of the unit's 12 victories in a dogfight with Zekes over Marilinan, New Guinea.

During October and November the Fifth Air Force flew repeated missions against the Japanese naval air complex at Rabaul, New Britain. Wenige claimed a Hamp probably destroyed there on 23 October, then was credited with two Zekes on 2 November. Five days later he made his final claim with a Tony fighter near Adler Bay.

Arthur Wenige was killed in an aircraft accident near Asheville, North Carolina in May 1987.

Tally Record:
6 Confirmed
2 Probable 

Decorations:
Silver Star
Distinguished Flying Cross with one Oak Leaf Cluster
Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters 

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