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Captain James C. Ince

Captain James C. Ince

Captain James C. Ince

James Childs Ince was born at Paragould, Arkansas on 28 March 1919 and grew up in Boulder, Colorado. He attended the University of Colorado, leaving to join the Army Air Forces for pilot training. Graduating at Like Field, Arizona on 9 January 1942 with Class 42-A, he was immediately sent to Hawaii, where he joined the 6th Pursuit Squadron at Wheeler Field, flying P-26s, P-36s and P-40s on patrols searching for the Japanese invasion fleet.

In July 1942, Ince joined the 8th Fighter Group's 80th Fighter Squadron "Headhunters" in New Guinea. Initially equipped with the P-39. Early in 1943 the 80th received P-38s. Ince scored his first victory on 21 May 1943, a Hamp downed five miles west of Salamaua. Exactly one month later, he destroyed one Zero and was credited with a second as probable a few miles south of Lae.

Late in the summer of 1943, Ince joined the 475th Fighter Group. Promoted to captain, he became a flight leader in the 432nd Fighter Squadron based at Dobodura. On 22 September, while flying cover for Finschaven landing, Ince's squadron intercepted 20 Betty bombers, escorted by 40 Zekes. Taking his P-38s straight through the Zekes down to the deck after the bombers, Ince shot down one Betty, but had his left engine shot out. As he pulled up he was attacked head-on by a Zeke. He set the Zeke on fire, barely missed being rammed, and returned home. He completed his scoring in November, downing one Zeke on the 9th and another on the 16th. He returned to the U.S. in March 1944

Ince left the service following the war, but joined the Air Force Reserves. Called back to active duty during the Korean War, he served in Korea, Japan and Taiwan from 1951 through 1955. He retired as a lieutenant colonel in September 1965.

Tally Record:
6 Confirmed
1 Probable

Silver Star
Distinguished Flying Cross with one Oak Leaf Cluster
Air Medal with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters

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