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Aces

First Lieutenant David W. Allen

David AllenBorn in San Francisco, California on 17 March 1919, David Winthrop Allen attended the University of California at Berkley for three years, and then left his studies to enter the real estate business with his father. Drafted into the Army in February 1941 , he served in the infantry until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The following day, he volunteered for pilot training and received his wings and commission as a second lieutenant with Class 42-G at Luke Field, Arizona.

Following advanced training as a fighter pilot, Lieutenant Allen was sent to the South Pacific and assigned to the 7th Fighter Squadron, 49th Fighter Group, based in New Guinea. Flying a P-40K, he scored two victories with the squadron - a pair of Lily twin-engine bombers shot down near Wau on 6 February 1943. After nine months with the 49th, Allen, now a first lieutenant was sent to Australia to form the cadre of the newly-organized 475th Fighter Group, equipped with the P-38 Lightning. Assigned to the 431st Fighter Squadron, he returned to combat in New Guinea. In five days of combat in August 1943 he became an ace, downing an Oscar and a Kate over Marilinan, New Guinea on the 16th and two Zekes and an Oscar on the 21st near Wewak. He was credited with his last victory on 16 December shooting down a Betty near Arawe, New Britain.

Allen left the service in August 1945 and returned to his real estate business in San Francisco. He subsequently expanded his enterprise to include distribution of industrial alcohol products in a multi-state area.

Tally Record:
8 Confirmed

Decorations:
Silver Star
Distinguished Flying Cross with three Oak Leaf Clusters
Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters 

Captain Harry W. Brown

Harry W. Brown Born on 19 May 1921 in Amarillo, Texas, Harry Winston Brown entered the Army Air Corps in September 1940. He was commissioned at Kelly Field, Texas on 15 August 1941 and was immediately assigned to the 47th Pursuit Group at Wheeler Field, Hawaii.

Brown was one of five pilots to score victories during the attack on Pearl Harbor, shooting down one Val and damaging another while flying a P-36. In August 1942 he was assigned to the 9th Squadron, 49th Fighter Group based in Australia flying P-40s. Brown scored his second victory, an Oscar, over Lae-Finschaven, New Guinea during the Bismarck Sea battle on 4 March 1943.

When the 475th Fighter Group "Satan's Angels" was formed, Captain Brown was assigned to the 431st Fighter Squadron as a flight leader. Flying the P-38, Brown scored the Group's first three victories, downing three Zekes over the Watut Balley on 16 August 1943 and later achieved his sixth victory shooting down a Zeke over Rabaul on 24 October.

Following World War II, Brown served as base commander of McGuire AFB, New Jersey prior to leaving the service in August 1948. Remaining in the Air Force Reserve, he earned undergraduate and masters degrees at the University of Denver and was subsequently promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. He served as personnel manager for the Bechtel Company in San Francisco for 10 years and commanded a Reserve air-sea rescue squadron at Lowry AFB, Colorado. He died on 7 October 1991 in Walnut Creek, California.

Tally Record:
6 Confirmed
1 Probable
1 Damaged 

Decorations:
Silver Star
Distinguished Flying Cross with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster
Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters 

Captain Henry L. Condon II

Captain Henry L. Condon IIAlabama native Henry L. Condon joined the Army Air Forces in 1942 as an aviation cadet. Graduating from pilot training as a flight officer on 13 December 1942, he was initially assigned to the 72nd Fighter Squadron, 318th Fighter Group at Hickam Field, Hawaii. On 29 June 1943 he was transferred to the 432nd Fighter Squadron, 475th Fighter Group, stationed at Dobodura, New Guinea.

Condon was credited with two aerial victories during his first combat tour, a Zeke shot down over Finschafen on 22 September 1943 and a Betty destroyed in the same area eight days later. Returning to the squadron after a rest tour, Condon, by then a first lieutenant, downed an Oscar on 3 April 1944. Promoted to captain shortly after, he assumed command of the 432nd on 4 August 1944.

Captain Condon didn’t score again until December, but on Christmas Day he became an ace in a wide-ranging air battle that involved all three squadrons of the 475th Fighter Group. On that day Fifth Air Force Liberators were sent to Luzon to bomb the Mabalacat Airdrome. The 431st and 432nd Squadrons flew high cover while the 433rd swept Dasol Bay. As the bombers approached their target, 70-80 Japanese interceptors ripped into the formation. During the ensuing 60 minute air combat, the group destroyed 26 Japanese fighters, with Condon accounting for two Zeke 52s. Eight days later he was listed as missing in action following combat north of Manila.

Tally Record:
5 Confirmed

Decorations:
Distinguished Flying Cross
Air Medal with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters

Captain Frederick F. Champlin

Frederick F. Champlin Born in Oneida, New York on 30 October 1918, Frederic Fay Champlin enlisted in the U.S. Army on 28 September 1940. Assigned to the 209th Coast Artillery at Camp Stewart, Georgia, after the attack on Pearl Harbor he transferred to the Aviation Cadet program. Graduating at William's Field, Arizona on 12 April 1943, three months later he was sent to the Southwest Pacific where he joined the 431st Fighter Group in Brisbane, Australia.

Lieutenant Champlin scored his first victory on 28 September, downing a Zeke near Wewak, and on 2 November was credited with a double, Two Zekes, near Rabaul. He finished his first combat tour with the destruction of a Val on 26 December 1943 over Cape Gloucester.

Champlin, now a captain, became an ace on 12 November 1944 when he shot down a Lily bomber and one of two escorting Oscars over Leyte Gulf. He completed his scoring with two Zekes and an Oscar the following month. He returned to the United States in 1945 and was released from the service in November 1945.

In August 1950 Champlin was recalled to active duty for the Korean War. After retraining in jet aircraft he was assigned to the 7th Fighter-Bomber Squadron, 49th Fighter-Bomber Group, flying F-80s and later F-84s out of K-29 in Korea, adding 100 more combat missions to his previous 175 flown in World War II.

During the Vietnam War, Champlin commanded the 620th Tactical Control Squadron, the largest radar control unit for all Allied aircraft in Vietnam. He retired from the Air Force as a lieutenant colonel in September 1974. A victim of crippling arthritis for many years, he died in Marietta, Georgia on 7 March 1995.

Tally Record:
9 Confirmed

Decorations:
Distinguished Flying Cross with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster
Bronze Star with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster
Meritorious Service Medal
Air Medal with 11 OLCs
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Air Force Presidential Citation with 2 OLCs
Philippine Presidential Commendation Medal
Unit Citation and the Korean Presidential Unit Citation

First Lieutenant Edward J. Czarnecki

First Lieutenant Edward J. CzarneckiEdward John Czarnecki, born in 1922 in Wilmington, Delaware, joined the Army Air Forces for pilot training in early 1942, graduating on 30 October. On 12 March 1943 he was assigned to the 80th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group, based at Mareeba, Australia. On 1 July he was transferred as one of the initial pilots assigned to the newly-organized 431st Fighter Squadron, 475th Fighter Group. Equipped with the P-38 Lightning, the group moved to Port Moresby, New Guinea on 14 August 1943.

Four days later, as part of a 75 plane escort protecting Fifth Air Force medium and heavy bombers in route to Japanese held Wewak, Lieutenant Czarnecki scored his first victory, flaming two Zekes near Wewak. On 21 August another heavy engagement took place in the same area. Flying high cover, Czarnecki dove to the defense of B-25s being attacked by Japanese fighters and shot down a fixed-gear Nate.

By the end of August, Fifth Air Force had succeeded in neutralizing the Wewak airdromes. During September the Group supported MacArthur's invasion of Lae and Finschafen. Moving across the Owen Stanley Mountains to Dobodura, the 475th began attacks on Japanese shipping at Rabaul. The Japanese retaliated with an attack on the American Fleet at Oro Bay on the 15th. The 431st intercepted 40 Japanese fighters and Czarnecki knocked down a Zeke and received credit for another as a probable. He became an ace two days later when he downed two more Zekes near Buna Bay.

On 23 October, on a fighter sweep near Lakunai, Czarnecki was shot down in Simpson Harbor. He managed to wade ashore, however, evading Japanese patrols and returning to Brisbane, Australia, in a submarine four months later.

Edward Czarnecki died of stomach cancer in the Fort Howard, Maryland VA hospital on July 27, 1955.

Tally Record:
6 Confirmed
1 Probable 

Decorations:
Silver Star
Distinguished Flying Cross
Purple Heart

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