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Captain Paul W. Lucas

Captain Paul W. Lucas

Captain Paul W. LucasPaul Woodrow Lucas, of Boone, Iowa, joined the Army as an aviation cadet in 1942. Upon receiving his commission and wings on 12 April 1943, he quickly passed through twin engine school and was sent to the Southwest Pacific in July.

Second Lieutenant Lucas joined the 475th Fighter Group's 432nd Fighter Squadron at Dobodura, New Guinea, flying P-38H Lightning's. At that time he had logged 316 flight hours, including 114 in Pursuit aircraft. He quickly proved his worth in the 475th by shooting down a Mitsubishi Zeke fighter over Dagua on 21 August.

Though the group steadily advanced through the Southwest Pacific Theater for the next 14 months, Lucas found little opportunity to increase his score. By October 1944 "Satan's Angels" were operating from Dulag in the Philippines, and now Captain Lucas hit his stride. On 24 November, he intercepted Japanese fighters 20 miles west of Tacloban airstrip, Samar, and shot down two Kawasaki Ki-61 Tonys. He became an ace three days later, downing two Zekes near the Dulag Field.

Lucas had one combat in December credited with a probable victory over a Zeke on the 11th. He opened the new year with another Zeke destroyed over Clark Field on 1 January 1945.

Two weeks later Lucas participated in an attack on Silay Airdrome. His P-38L was hit by anti-aircraft fire and the Iowan ace was reported crash landing two miles east of the airdrome.

Tally Record:
6 Confirmed
1 Probable 

Distinguished Flying Cross with one Oak Leaf Cluster
Air Medal with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters

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