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Major Warren R. Lewis

Major Warren R. Lewis

Major Warren R. LewisWarren Russell Lewis was born in Superior, Iowa on Christmas Eve 1919. Attending Estherville Junior College when war broke out in Europe, he left his studies to join the Royal Canadian Air Force. He transferred to the U.S. Army Air Forces in May 1941 and was assigned to the 8th Fighter Group. He flew P-38s at Milne Bay, New Guinea from August 1942 to June 1943, recording no victories, but greatly enhancing his background and experience levels.

Lewis was transferred to the 431st Fighter Squadron, 475th Fighter Group, as a first lieutenant in June 1943. He flew successively from Port Moresby, Dobodura, Finschaven, Nadzab, Biak, and Hollandia. His first victory was scored on 16 August 1943, an Oscar downed three miles northeast of Tsili Tsili, followed by a Zeke shot down near Wewak on 28 September.

Reassigned to the 433rd Fighter Squadron, Lewis was promoted to captain on 16 October and destroyed two Bettys on 16 December. Promoted to major on 17 March 1944, he became an ace on 3 April with the destruction of a Zeke over Hollandia and shortly thereafter was named squadron commander of the 433rd. His last two victories came in May, an Oscar on the 16th and a Pete floatplane three days later.

Lewis rotated home in August 1944, but returned to combat in Europe in April 1945, flying with the 82nd and 31st Fighter Groups in P-38s and P-51s, respectively. By the end of the war, he had flown 591 combat missions totaling 1,174 hours.

Remaining in the Air Force following the war, Lewis was promoted to colonel on 7 April 1959 and subsequently commanded the 354th and 31st Tactical Fighter Wings. He served a combat tour in Vietnam in 1968 and retired from the Air Force in September 1971.

Tally Record:
7 Confirmed
5 Probable
3 Damaged 

Legion of Merit with one Oak Leaf Cluster
Distinguished Flying Cross with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters
Air Medal with 26 Oak Leaf Clusters

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