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Fallen Heroes

Ralph "Lito" Gutierrez, April 22, 1923 - March 25, 2016

Aralph gutierrez member of the 432nd Clover Squadron, First Lieutenant Gutierrez  was a P38 fighter pilot in the Pacific Theater during WWII.

Ralph passed quietly in his sleep early in the morning on Good Friday.

He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Helen Gutierrez; sister Genevieve Duran; three children, Ralph Gutierrez, Diana Gutierrez, and Mark Gutierrez and wife Laura; three grandchildren, David Gutierrez and wife Tara, Kathryn Gutierrez, and Holle Gutierrez; two great-grandchildren, Theodore and Phoebe Gutierrez; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Born in Barelas, he grew up to enlist in the Army Air Corp as a P38 fighter pilot in the Pacific Theater during WWII. Returning to Albuquerque, he married Helen Lorraine Leavitt on Feb 6, 1946. They had three children and Ralph embarked on a lifelong career establishing his own wholesale grocery businesses, New Mexico Sales Co., United Grocers Assn. and finally, Ralph's Road Sales. He established lifelong friendships from his days in business through his final years at St. John's Rehabilitation.

In lieu of flowers, Ralph would have appreciated donations to the 475th Historical Foundation at www.475th.org .

- See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/abqjournal/obituary.aspx?pid=179470417#sthash.5LCBz8aa.dpuf


Louis L. Longman

Louis L. LongmanAfter remaining missing for 70 years, Clinton native 1st Lt. Longman to return home Saturday, April 12, 2014 to final resting place at Rock Island Arsenal National Cemetery

CLINTON — Louis L. Longman, a 26-year old Clinton, Iowa native serving with the 433rd Fighter Squadron, 475th Fighter Group, 5th Air Force, U.S. Army Air Corps, was last seen April 16, 1944 as his unit returned from a B-25 bomber escort mission over Hollandia, New Guinea. - See more at: http://www.clintonherald.com/obituaries/x1445032113/Louis-L-Longman#sthash.M7xutbxq.dpuf

Governor Orders Flags to Half-Staff for WWII Vet
Read more: http://qctimes.com/news/local/obituaries/lt-louis-l-longman/article_432cc50c-2a57-51bd-98c8-ee9f157ae89f.html


Lawrence Kohn

March 28, 2014
70 years in the making: WWII soldier to be honored

Imagine three boys, orphaned in the midst of the Great Depression, moving from Minnesota to an adjacent state to live with extended family. How hard it would be to lose both parents and, then, have to move away and take up a new life in a strange town.

Yet, such was the case for Louis Longman and his two brothers, who came to Clinton in the 1930s to live at 2804 Garfield with their maternal grandfather, John Cleary, and an aunt, Lorette Cleary. Details concerning the boys’ arrival and early life elude us.

Read More (PDF)


Marvin Rose, Aug. 23, 1920—March 26, 2014
Marvin Odell Rose, 93, of Crossville, passed away March 26, 2014. Funeral services were held March 29 at First United Methodist Church in Crossville, with Bro. Jerry Mayo and Bro. John Perdue officiating. Interment with military honors followed at Green Acres Memory Gardens.

Visitation was held prior to the service, with services by the American Legion, as well as the Cumberland Shrine Club.

He was born Aug. 23, 1920, in White County. A well-known, long-time resident of Crossville, Mr. Rose received his early education in the Cumberland County school system, graduating from Cumberland County High School in 1940. His college education at Tennessee Technological University was interrupted by World War II and, as a member of the class of 1944, was later made a member of the Golden Eagles there. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1942 and, after basic training, he was selected to attend and graduated from the Army Air Force Technical Training School in electrical engineering at Chanute field, IL. He was then sent to the mountains in Utah for overseas training and was sent to the South Pacific with General MacArthur's forces where he served in the 475th Fighter Group, 5th Air Force, starting in Australia and spending several months in New Guinea, New Britian, Biak and the Shoutan Islands, landing with General MacArthur's forces in October 1944 to recaputre the Philippine Islands.

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First Lieutenant Ferdinand Hanson, 1916-2003
Ferdinand Carl Hanson Jr. was born to FC Hanson Sr. and Hope Rose on Sept 23, 1916 in East Los Angeles, CA. The father’s side of the family hails from Maine and his mother’s side from old Mexico. He was an only child and enjoyed the pursuits of childhood with his house painting father of hunting and fishing. Having an uncle that was killed in WW I at the battle of St Mihiel he joined the ROTC in High School and rose up through the ranks and and by his senior year he was the cadet Sergeant Major and joined the 160th California National guard upon graduation from Garfield HS in 1934. He distinguished himself in ROTC and the National Guard by winning several rifle and pistol competitions. With the depression a career was hard to find and he worked on the Southern Pacific Railroad, CCC and several other jobs. He loved to race cars and, with his friends from school, he built a flathead open cockpit and open wheel racer that he bragged that he got up to 130MPH at Muroc Dry lake (where Edwards AFB is today).

After Dec 7th 1941 his 160th National Guard unit was activated into the 40th division regular army. He cross trained into Allison engine mechanic school and was sent to Lincoln Nebraska. He soon was a crew chief and SSGT and noticed a blond and gorgeous blue eyed Swedish ancestry secretary from ND at a USO dance and soon they were courting and they went across the stateline and were wed in Marysville, KS in 1942.

Answering a call for more pilots (if you could pass the mental and physical evaluations) he was admitted to cadet training and graduated from Williams Field, class 43 F, on 22 June 43 and was named 2nd lieutenant. Along with Advanced training school mates Fogerty and Fostakowski, they were assigned to the 475th Fighter Group Satan’s Angels, 432nd Clover Squadron Dobodura in New Guinea. His first flights were at the end of Sep 43 and participated in the reduction raids against Rabaul the Japanese Pearl Harbor. Losing his 2 class mates within the first 2 months he persisted with 123 missions and sent home with 1 probable and several near misses from Dobodura to Biak and missed the Philippine deployment. His favorite pilots were PJ Dahl, Joe Forster, Stu Lawhead and John Loisel. He flew with all the greats, including Bong, McGuire, MacDonald, Roberts and Lindbergh. His crew chief was Phil Ranalli w/ whom he carried on a correspondence for years after the war since he had been a crew chief himself. His last flight was on Oct 2, 44 w/ a P 38L. A camera buff he took over 300 pictures which were made into a DVD for the 432nd.

Arriving back in the states he became a discharge officer at Williams AFB and he discharged himself in March 45 as 1LT. He stayed in the Reserves until 1955. He joined the LAPD and worked for them as Patrol officer, Accident investigation and even since he was a pilot was in charge of Accidents and low flying aircraft until the FAA came in 1950. He was able to use the LAPD Piper Cub to help investigate. He built 5 houses that he owned and collected income. The year before he retired in 1966 he won the LAPD pistol championship achieving a score of 396/400. Active in his church he became a Bible scholar and was elected Elder several times. He continued working becoming a locksmith, and worked for a defense contractor repairing the black boxes on the top of the line fighter jets of the day. He finally retired in 1982. He lost Eva his wife of 48 years in 1990.He passed away on Dec 29 ,2003 after long illnesses. His legacy of 3 daughters and 1 son and several grandchildren and great grandchildren. His was the Greatest Generation! His son submitted a memoir to the Library of Congress which was accepted in his name.


Arthur Erickson, 2014. 431st Sqd.

John A Cohn, March 17, 2014. 431st Sqd.

Richard A. Walkup (92) from Pioneer, Ohio passed away January 3, 2014 at 6:30 AM. 
Mr. Walkup was a member of the 431st and worked as a crew chief for Tom Oxford.

Allen Wilson, December 20, 2013. 432nd Sqd.

Arthur Goodwin, November 5, 2013. 432nd Sqd.

Roy Roper, August  30, 2013. 431st Sqd.

Art McLean, July, 2013. 432nd Sqd.

Don Weimer, July, 2013. 433rd Sqd.

Francis “Bud” Lampert, May 18, 2013. 431st Sqd.

Joe Forster, April 18, 2013

Norman R. Dunlap, March 22, 2013. 475th Sqd.

Jim Shelton, January 9, 2013

Norman Willey, November 6, 2012

Jerry Gettler, September 23, 2012

Charlie Campbell, June 5, 2012

Jack “Fox” Olson, April, 2012

Amador Amescua, February 17, 2013,  age 92. 433rd Sqd.

Allen (Red) Wilson, December 20, 2012

Warren J. Cortner, December 17, 2012

Coy Wiley, May 16, 2012

Robert Herman & Stanley Swertinski, January 2012

Tom “Ox” Oxford, December, 2011

Kermit O. Dakken,  August, 2011

Save the Date!

475th Fighter Group Reunions

  • Moving forward, all reunions will be held on the second weekend in August.
  • The location for 2018 is TBA. Stay Tuned!
  • Contact Rhonda Rose
    (for more info)
    communications@475th.org
  • More info >