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Colonel Charles H. MacDonald

Colonel Charles H. MacDonald

Colonel Charles H. MacDonaldThe third ranking ace in the Pacific during World War II was Charles Henry "Mac" MacDonald, was born in Dubois, Pennsylvania on 23 November 1914. He entered the Army Air Corps pilot training program following graduation from Louisiana State University in 1938. MacDonald received his wings and commission as a second lieutenant at Kelly Field, Texas on 25 May 1939. Assigned initially to the 55th Pursuit Group, he was transferred to the 18th Pursuit Group at Wheeler Field, Hawaii on 9 February 1941 and was there during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December.

MacDonald returned to the States and served briefly in the 326th Fighter Group before transfer to the 348th Fighter Group to command the 340th Pursuit Squadron at Westover Field, Maine. On 1 October 1943 MacDonald, by then a major, joined the 475th Fighter Group at Dobodura, New Guinea as group executive officer. He scored his first four victories that month, and became an ace on 9 November when he downed two Zekes near Alexishafen Airdrome. Promoted to lieutenant colonel the next day, he assumed command of the group.

Leading the group for 20 months, Colonel "Mac" flew his P-38, "PUTT PUTT MARU" with the unit number "100". One of his most memorable missions occurred on 25 December 1944 when he destroyed three Japanese fighters over Clark Field in the Philippines. He scored his last aerial victory on 13 March 1945, bringing his total to 27.

MacDonald returned to the States in July 1945 and served in a variety of command and staff assignments, including commander of the 33rd Fighter Group and 23rd Fighter Wing. Retiring from the Air Force as a colonel in July 1961, he spent 10 years touring the Pacific and Caribbean by sailboat before retiring in Florida.

Tally Record:
27 Confirmed
2 Probable
4 1/2 Damaged 

Decorations:
Distinguished Service Cross with one Oak Leaf Cluster
Silver Star with one OLC
Legion of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross with 5 OLCs
Air Medal with 10 OLCs
Air Force Commendation Medal

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