More information on past reunions >>
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.
Click here to start watching and don't forget to subscribe!
Our museum is located at the Planes of Fame Air Museum at the Chino Airport in Chino, California.
T-shirts, hats, mugs, sweatshirts and more!
Donations of any amount are always welcome!
Peruse past reunions and stay tuned for information on upcoming reunions!
Billy Moore Gresham was born in El Dorado, Arkansas. He entered the Army Air Forces for flight training in 1942 and was commissioned and rated a pilot on 25 March 1943 at Mariana, Florida. Initially assigned to the 15th Fighter Group at Bellows Field, Hawaii on 12 May 1943, two months later he transferred to the newly organized 432nd Fighter Squadron, 475th Fighter Group.
Organized in Australia and equipped with the P-38 Lightning, the Group moved to Dobodura, New Guinea on 14 August. A week later, Gresham scored his first aerial victory by downing a Japanese twin engine fighter near Dagua, New Guinea during a series of raids against Japanese held Wewak.
By the end of August, Wewak had been neutralized and the 475th operations shifted to the support of the invasion of Lae, on the southeast coast of New Guinea. On 20 September, Lieutenant Gresham shot down two Tonys over Marilinan.
On 15 October, the Japanese launched a major aerial assault on Oro Bay. In the ensuing wide-ranging battle, the 475th was credited with destroying 21 bombers and 15 fighters of which Gresham accounted for a Kate. Nine days later, the 80th Fighter Squadron joined the 475th on a B-25 escort mission to Rabaul. As they approached their target, 50 Japanese fighters attacked the American formation. Lieutenant Gresham shot down one of the Zekes to become an ace.
As the Allies gained control of New Britain, Gresham, newly promoted to first lieutenant, scored his last confirmed victory on 18 January, shooting down a Zeke over Wewak. He claimed one additional Oscar on 31 March as a probable.
On 2 October 1944, in a test flight over Biak Island, Gresham's was forced to bail out. His parachute failed, however, and he fell to the ground.
Tally Record:6 Confirmed1 Probable
Decorations:Distinguished Flying Cross with one Oak Leaf ClusterAir Medal with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters
Page 10 of 38