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Captain Zach W. Dean

Captain Zach W. Dean

Captain Zach W. DeanZach Wesley Dean, born on 23 June 1918 in Altoona, Kansas, joined the Army Air Forces as an aviation cadet in early 1942. He graduated and was commissioned 30 October 1942. Initially assigned to the 80th Fighter Squadron, he was later transferred to the 432nd Fighter Squadron, 475th Fighter Group.

Lieutenant Dean was credited with his first aerial victory on 22 September 1943 when he shot down a Betty and a Zeke 25 miles off Finschafen, He followed this with a Val on 15 October and became an ace nine days later with the destruction of a Zeke and a Hamp over Rabaul. Another double victory on 22 December, two Zekes, completed his scoring.

Remaining in the Air Force following World War II, Zach Dean returned to combat in the Korean War. His tour was short lived, however; he was shot down and captured by the Chinese who kept him prisoner for over two years.

Tally Record:
7 Confirmed

Decorations:
Silver Star
Distinguished Flying Cross with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters
Air Medal with 6 OLCs

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475th Fighter Group Reunions

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