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431st Fighter Squadron (431st FS) "Hades"
U. S. Army Air Force, 5th Air Force, 475th Fighter Group (475th FG)

Wartime History
Assigned to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF), 5th Air Force, 475th Fighter Group (475th FG) "Satan's Angels" as the 431st Fighter Squadron (431st FS) "Hades" equipped with the P-38 Lightning flying combat missions in the South West Pacific Area (SWPA).

Wartime History
On May 14, 1943 the 431st Fighter Squadron (431st FS) "Hades" was activated at Charters Towers Airfield in Queensland in Australia. On July 1, 1943 transfers from Charters Towers Airfield to Amberley Field near Brisbane.

On August 8, 1943 elements of the squadron move northward to Port Moresby in New Guinea with the rest of the squadron transferring on August 14, 1943 to Dobodura No. 12. By October 3, 1943 the portion of the squadron at Port Moresby transferred to Dobodura No. 12.

On August 30, 1943 lost is P-38H 42-66502 pilot 2nd Lt. Ronald E. Dunlop (survived) on a mission and returning force landed on the beach at Kukipi and survived unhurt and returned to duty.

On September 8, 1943 lost is P-38H 42-66542 pilot 1st Lt. Chester D. Phillips (MIA) on a patrol over Wau and went missing.

On September 13, 1943 lost is P-38H 42-66749 pilot 2nd Lt. John G. Knox (MIA) on a mission against Wewak encountered Japanese fighters over Madang. Afterwards, his aircraft was found but no trace of the pilot or a parachute.

On October 15, 1943 lost is P-38H 42-66522 pilot 2nd Lt William G. Seiber (survived) on a mission to intercept Japanese aircraft over Oro Bay and claimed a victory then was damaged and bailed out over the Solomon Sea and was later rescued.

On December 28, 1943 lost is P-38G "Beautiful Lass" 43-2204 pilot 2nd Lt. Ormond E. Powell (MIA) on a patrol over Cape Gloucester and was last seen entering bad weather and went missing.

On January 18, 1944 the squadron led by Major Meryl M. Smith flew a fighter sweep over Wewak and were intercepted by 25 enemy fighters. Lost was P-38H Lightning 42-66534 piloted by 2nd Lt. John R. Weldon, Jr. (MIA), P-38H-1-LO "Hot Box Annie" 42-66545 pilot 2nd Lt. Joseph A. Robertson (MIA) and P-38H Lightning 42-66554 pilot 1st Lt. William T. Ritter (MIA).

On January 22, 1944 lost was P-38G 42-12711 pilot 2nd Martin P. Hawthorne (KIA) on a test flight and crashed near Dobodura No. 7.

On March 26, 1944 the squadron transfers to Nadzab Airfield No. 3 (Fighter Strip).

Later, the squadron transfered to Hollandia on the north coast of New Guinea.

On July 15, 1944 the squadron transfered to Mokmer Drome on Biak Island.

On November 9, 1944 the squadron transferred to Dulag Airfield on Leyte in the Philippines and later operates from San Jose Airfield on Mindoro Island.

On December 31, 1944 lost was P-38H 42-66562 pilot Captain William C. Gronemeyer with passenger 1st Lt. Charles W. Springer.

On January 7, 1945 four P-38s from "Daddy Flight" took off from Dulag Airfield on Leyte on a fighter sweep bound for Mindoro and encountered enemy aircraft over Negros. Lost was P-38L "Eileen-Ann" 44-24845 piloted by Major Thomas B. McGuire, Jr. and P-38J 43-28836 piloted by Major Jack B. Rittmayer on a fighter sweep over Negros and went Missing In Action (MIA). Afterwards, San Jose Airfield on Mindoro was renamed "McGuire Drone" in honor of McGuire.

On February 28, 1945 the squadron transferred to Clark Field on Luzon in the Philippines. By March 5, 1945 the portion of the squadron at San Jose Airfield transferred to Clark Field.

Tail Codes
431st FS "Hades" (Red): 110–139

References
P-38 Lightnings operated by the 475th Fighter Group
475th Fighter Group Museum
475th Fighter Group Historical Foundation
Possum, Clover & Hades 475th Fighter Group in World War II (2004) by John Stanaway
475th Fighter Group Aviation Elite Units 23 (2007) by John Stanaway
Lightning Strikes: The 475th Fighter Group in the Pacific War, 1943-1945 (1988) by Ronald W. Yoshino



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