Stories from the Pilots and Men of the 475th Fighter Group
Allied Headquarters, Southwest Pacific, May 3 (AP)- Arthur L. Peregoy, of 919 West North Avenue, Baltimore, was one of seven American officers awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross by Lieutenant General George C. Kenney, commander of Allied air forces in the Southwest Pacific.
Citations said their operations included flying escort to bombers and transport aircraft, interception and attack missions and patrol flights. Their strafing and bombing attacks on Japanese bases were "made from dangerously low altitudes, destroying and damaging enemy installations and equipment."
(Picture Caption as appeared in paper: MEDAL FOR BALTIMOREAN - Honored for "extraordinary achievement" while taking part in combat missions in the Southwest Pacific, Capt. Arthur L. Peregoy, of Baltimore, aviation pilot, was given Distinguished Flying Cross by Col. A. W. Snyder in ceremony at Atlantic City. Capt. Peregoy is the son of Mr. & Mrs. A. B. Peregoy, 1812 Bolton St.)
Pilot Tells How He Shot Down Three Jap Planes
"I didn't do anything down there" was the offhand remark with which Capt. Arthur L. Peregoy, of 1812 Bolton Street, dismissed his part in the war when he arrived home this week from the Southwest Pacific.
In an 18 month stretch overseas, he piloted his Lightning fighter on 150 combat missions and shot down three Jap planes.
He brought home the Distinguished Flying Cross, a Presidential Unit Citation and the Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters.
He exhibits a picture of his plane with the comment that it was "the best ship in the whole squadron." It had a picture of a glamorous female on its nose and was labeled "Slightly Dangerous."
Then he describes how he got his first Jap. "I was patrolling the shipping lanes near Finschafen last November with five other P-38s," he said, "when we sighted 13 Jap bombers escorted by 15 or 20 Zeros.
"Four of us left our patrol and made a head-on level attack on the bombers. The Zeros were a couple of thousand feet above us as we moved in.
Got a bomber
"I got one bomber," he continued, "and one of the other boys got another. Then a number of the Zeros began to peel off of their formation and swoop down on us. A P-38 near me had one of his engines shot out but we managed to shake them off and we all got away safely."
"A month later I was patrolling the newly established beachhead at Arawe in a group of 16 fighters when 25 Jap dive bombers and Zeros came in to bomb and strafe our landing operations. Another squadron of our fighters were along, so they took the Zeros and we took the dive bombers.
Planes Zooming Everywhere
"We lost all semblance of formation as we began to mix it up and planes were zooming around me in every direction. I could see some of the Jap ships going down in flames but I didn't seem to have any luck. Then it was all over.
"I turned to go back to our patrolling area when I spotted a lone Jap dive bomber headed straight for our beachhead.
"I dived on him, opened up with a burst that hit his gasoline tank and he burst into flames. To finish him off, I put a cannon shell in his cockpit."
His Third Kill
Captain Peregoy scored his third kill at Rabaul when his formation of 13 fighters was attacked by 100 Zeros while flying as escort for a group of bombers. He and three other fighters were singled out by five Zeros.
As the Zeros came in, Peregoy met one in a head-on attack. The Zero zoomed up, Peregoy raked his fuselage with a burst from his machine guns and the Zero fell away in a mass of flames.
The captain said he had never been scratched the entire time he was out there. "Several times," he said, "I was reported missing when I was late getting back or when I made emergency landings on other fields.
Had An Engine Shot Out
"The only time I was in trouble, however, was when I had one engine shot out near Lae."
He is 26 years old and entered the Air Corps as a cadet in 1941. He was commissioned at Craig Field, Alabama, and was sent to the Pacific in November 1942.
He attended Clifton Park High School.
(Picture Caption as it appeared in paper: CAPT. ARTHUR L. PEREGOY - Checking his Lightning fighter plane with his crew chief)
Baltimorean Shoots Down Dive Bomber Over Arawe
Leading a flight of Lightning fighters against dive bombers attacking American forces on the beachhead of Arawe yesterday, Lieut. Arthur Peregoy, of 1812 Bolton Street, shot down one enemy plane and directed his flight while it sent another enemy crashing into the sea, it was announced today.
Lieutenant Peregoy's flight downed its first Japanese dive bomber northeast of Arawe and sent it down in flames. Later, Peregoy himself spotted another dive bomber flying toward the beachhead.
Sent into sea
"I pulled up a thousand feet and sent him down into the sea," Lieutenant Peregoy said.
A son of Mrs. Mary Landon Peregoy, Lieutenant Peregoy had been awarded the Air Medal last July for meritorious achievement in strafing and dive-bombing attacks against the Japanese in New Guinea.
Lieutenant Peregoy's flight yesterday was one of a group of American Lightning and Thunderbolts which shot down ten planes and probably destroyed two more, according to Allied headquarters in Australia.
(Picture Caption: Lieut. A.L. PEREGOY)
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