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Captain Henry L. Condon II

Captain Henry L. Condon II

Captain Henry L. Condon IIAlabama native Henry L. Condon joined the Army Air Forces in 1942 as an aviation cadet. Graduating from pilot training as a flight officer on 13 December 1942, he was initially assigned to the 72nd Fighter Squadron, 318th Fighter Group at Hickam Field, Hawaii. On 29 June 1943 he was transferred to the 432nd Fighter Squadron, 475th Fighter Group, stationed at Dobodura, New Guinea.

Condon was credited with two aerial victories during his first combat tour, a Zeke shot down over Finschafen on 22 September 1943 and a Betty destroyed in the same area eight days later. Returning to the squadron after a rest tour, Condon, by then a first lieutenant, downed an Oscar on 3 April 1944. Promoted to captain shortly after, he assumed command of the 432nd on 4 August 1944.

Captain Condon didn’t score again until December, but on Christmas Day he became an ace in a wide-ranging air battle that involved all three squadrons of the 475th Fighter Group. On that day Fifth Air Force Liberators were sent to Luzon to bomb the Mabalacat Airdrome. The 431st and 432nd Squadrons flew high cover while the 433rd swept Dasol Bay. As the bombers approached their target, 70-80 Japanese interceptors ripped into the formation. During the ensuing 60 minute air combat, the group destroyed 26 Japanese fighters, with Condon accounting for two Zeke 52s. Eight days later he was listed as missing in action following combat north of Manila.

Tally Record:
5 Confirmed

Decorations:
Distinguished Flying Cross
Air Medal with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters

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