Friends of the 475th
Lt. Colonel Sammy A. Pierce
Sammy Aplheus Pierce was born in Ayden, North Carolina on 25 August, 1921. He joined the North Carolina National Guard on 16 July 1940. He transferred to Federal Service on 16 September, and went through the ranks to staff sergeant. He received flight training, and was rated a pilot on 6 September 1942. Joining the 20th Fighter Group, he was transferred to 5th Fighter Command in December 1942, and then transferred to the 49th Fighter Group in February 1943. At the end of the month he had over 278 hours flight time logged and was warranted a flight officer on 21 March. Flying a P-40E, named "Kay Strawberry Blonde", Pierce claimed a Zeke on 11 April and on 14 May he claimed both a Zeke and a Betty.
Pierce was commissioned a second lieutenant on 20 September 1943. As a result of injuries suffered when he bailed out on 13 October, he was hospitalized and was returned to the U.S. in May 1944. He was promoted to first lieutenant on 10 May 1944, and returned to the 49th Fighter Group, 8th Fighter Squadron in November , this time flying P-38s. On 26 December, Pierce downed three Zeke 52s and a Tojo over Clark Field, and was credited with a Zeke as a probable south east of Clark Field. He flew 287 combat missions on his two tours, and saw service on Okinawa at the end of his second. Pierce retired from the Air Force in October 1963 as a lieutenant colonel.
TALLY RECORD: 7 Confirmed, one Probable
DECORATIONS: Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart with one OLC