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The new 475th Fighter Group Historical Foundation museum is now located at the Planes of Fame Air Museum at the Chino Airport in Chino, California. The stories and memorabilia of this highly decorated group, which flew the P-38 in combat, are now permanently housed in a new display hangar constructed entirely by the members of the 475th. The 475th Fighter Group hangar was donated to Planes of Fame Air Museum in October, 2009, and becomes the new home of the Museum’s Lockheed P-38 Lightning. If you haven’t been to Planes of Fame Air Museum in Chino, CA recently, make sure you stop to see this great new addition to the Museum.
CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE TOUR.
Thanks to author Ronald W. Yoshino's family for granting the 475th FGHF permission to share his book "Lightning Strikes", which includes the 475th FG’s involvement in the WWII Pacific Theater. Lightning Strikes will be shared via monthly installments of each chapter that will be uploaded to the website for reading.
Click To Read New Lightning Strikes Chapter: Chapter Seven: "I Have Returned" : Leyte to Lingayan, August-December 1944
Check out the latest video interviews and historical documentation from the 475th Fighter Group on our official YouTube page.
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Our museum is located at the Planes of Fame Air Museum at the Chino Airport in Chino, California.
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Peruse past reunions and stay tuned for information on upcoming reunions!
Born in Oneida, New York on 30 October 1918, Frederic Fay Champlin enlisted in the U.S. Army on 28 September 1940. Assigned to the 209th Coast Artillery at Camp Stewart, Georgia, after the attack on Pearl Harbor he transferred to the Aviation Cadet program. Graduating at William's Field, Arizona on 12 April 1943, three months later he was sent to the Southwest Pacific where he joined the 431st Fighter Group in Brisbane, Australia.
Lieutenant Champlin scored his first victory on 28 September, downing a Zeke near Wewak, and on 2 November was credited with a double, Two Zekes, near Rabaul. He finished his first combat tour with the destruction of a Val on 26 December 1943 over Cape Gloucester.
Champlin, now a captain, became an ace on 12 November 1944 when he shot down a Lily bomber and one of two escorting Oscars over Leyte Gulf. He completed his scoring with two Zekes and an Oscar the following month. He returned to the United States in 1945 and was released from the service in November 1945.
In August 1950 Champlin was recalled to active duty for the Korean War. After retraining in jet aircraft he was assigned to the 7th Fighter-Bomber Squadron, 49th Fighter-Bomber Group, flying F-80s and later F-84s out of K-29 in Korea, adding 100 more combat missions to his previous 175 flown in World War II.
During the Vietnam War, Champlin commanded the 620th Tactical Control Squadron, the largest radar control unit for all Allied aircraft in Vietnam. He retired from the Air Force as a lieutenant colonel in September 1974. A victim of crippling arthritis for many years, he died in Marietta, Georgia on 7 March 1995.
Tally Record:9 Confirmed
Decorations:Distinguished Flying Cross with 1 Oak Leaf ClusterBronze Star with 1 Oak Leaf ClusterMeritorious Service MedalAir Medal with 11 OLCsJoint Service Commendation MedalAir Force Presidential Citation with 2 OLCsPhilippine Presidential Commendation MedalUnit Citation and the Korean Presidential Unit Citation
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