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First Lieutenant Calvin C. "Cal" Wire

First Lieutenant Calvin C. "Cal" Wire


Calvin Charles "Cal" Wire, born on 15 April 1914 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, entered the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1941. After the bombing of Peal Harbor and the declaration of war by the U.S., he requested and was granted a transfer to the U.S. Army Air Forces. He graduated from flight training at Williams Field, Arizona on 6 February 1943 and trained on P-38s at Muroc and Santa Ana, California.

On 9 July 1943 Lieutenant Wire joined the newly formed 475th Fighter Group in Brisbane, Australia and was assigned to the 433rd Fighter Squadron. On 2 September he flew his first combat mission in the New Guinea area escorting B-24 bombers. Over Wewak, Wire's Lightning was cut off from the squadron by four Zekes. In the ensuing melee, he shot down one, damaged another and was credited with a third as a probable.

Again over Wewak, on 26 September he shot down two Hamps, and on 24 October he added to his score with two Zekes over Rabaul. Promoted to major in 1944, Wire took command of the 433 Fighter Squadron at Biak, New Guinea and participated in the invasion and retaking of the Philippine Islands. He completed his scoring with the destruction of two Oscars in the Philippines on 19 November 1944 and returned to the United States in July 1945.

Leaving the service following the war, Wire joined the Los Angeles Fire Department and entered the University of California under their auspices. After three years he left the university to work with the State Fire Marshall's Office as a fire protection engineer, remaining there until 1977. He then worked briefly with the San Francisco Fire Department before taking full retirement.

Tally Record:
7 Confirmed
1 Probable
2 Damaged 

Distinguished Flying Cross with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters
Purple Heart
Air Medal with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters 

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