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First Lieutenant Lowell Lutton

First Lieutenant Lowell Lutton

First Lieutenant Lowell LuttonLowell Lutton, born in Clifton, Illinois in 1918, entered the Army pilot training in 1941. After receiving his silver wings with Class 42-A at Stockton Field, California on 9 January 1942 he was selected for fighter training and went to the Hawaiian Department on 12 March. There he joined the 44th Fighter Squadron, 18th Fighter Group, flying a Curtis P-40s. After nearly seven months in Hawaii, Lutton was transferred to the 49th Fighter Group's 8th Fighter Squadron, based at Port Moresby, New Guinea. By year's end, he had logged 502 hours flying time.

With establishment of the 475th Fighter Group in 1943, First Lieutenant Lutton joined the 431st Fighter Squadron, also at Port Moresby. After a hasty transition to P-38 Lightning's he began flying long range combat missions in July. Lutton's previous experience served him well, he claimed three Japanese aircraft in three days during mid-August. On the 16th Lutton fought Nakajima Ki-43 Oscars over Marilinan, New Guinea, and shot down one of 12 claimed in the squadron's first combat. Two days later the 431st reported another dozen victories, as Lutton bagged a pair of Oscars near Wewak.

Beginning in October, the Fifth Air Force launched a series of strikes against the Japanese naval air complex at Rabaul, New Britain. The 431st was engaged near the target on 23 October, and Lutton claimed a Mitsubishi A6M Zeke. Back again on 2 November, he was seen to shoot down another Zeke but failed to return to base. It was assumed that he ran out of fuel and crashed.

Tally Record:
5 Confirmed

Decorations:
Silver Star
Distinguished Flying Cross with one Oak Leaf Cluster
Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters

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