Richard J. Lewis, Jr.,

AT STUTTGART
Richard J. Lewis, son of Lieutenant Commander and Mrs. R. J. Lewis, 1724 Coolidge Court has just been transferred to the Stuttgart Army Air Field at Stuttgart, AR where he will undergo the last phase of flight training prior to receiving his wings as a combat pilot.

LT. RICHARD LEWIS
The silver wings of the Army Air Forces and a commission as Second Lieutenant were presented to Richard L. Lewis, son of Lieutenant Commander and Mrs. R. J. Lewis, 1724 Coolidge Court at the Stuttgart Army Air Field, Stuttgart, AR.  

Before entering aviation cadet training, Lieutenant Lewis was a student at the University of Wisconsin.  He now goes on to a transition flying school for further combat training in larger aircraft.  

His father, Lieutenant Commander Lewis with the Navy Air Corps, is now stationed in England.


Second Lieutenant Richard J. Lewis, son of Lieutenant Commander and Mrs. R. J. Lewis, who received his commission at Stuttgart Army Air Field, Stuttgart, AR, is home on leave.

Richard Lewis Gets Promotion

FIFTH AIR FORCE, Philippine Islands—Richard J. Lewis, 21, son of Mrs. R. J. Lewis, 1724 Coolidge Court, Eau Claire, has been promoted to First Lieutenant with the 345th Bombardment Group Air Apaches, B-25 bomber-strafer unit in the Philippines.

A first pilot with the Air Apaches, Lieutenant Lewis has flown 35 missions against the Japs in the Southwest Pacific and Philippines area.  He was awarded the Air Medal for meritorious achievement during sustained operational flights.


Letter Conflicts with War Department 'Injured' Wire
LT. RICHARD LEWIS
A letter received by Mrs. R. J. Lewis from her son, Lieutenant Richard J. Lewis, dispelled the anxiety felt after a War Department telegram was received a few days ago, stating that he had been seriously injured in the Philippines. 

Lieutenant Lewis, son of Lieutenant Commander and Mrs. R. J. Lewis, has been serving in the South Pacific area since June 1. Commander Lewis left the United States January 28 to return to his headquarters in London, England, after spending a. leave here. 

In the letter received from the young pilot Saturday, he told of arriving in Sydney, Australia for a few weeks rest leave. His mother said he made no mention of having been injured. In a previous letter, dated January 8, he spoke of plans for the leave, she said. The injury purportedly occurred on January 6, according to the War Department.

The young pilot won his wings at Stuttgart Army Air Field, AR. Before entering aviation cadet training, he was a student at the University of Wisconsin.


Returns to Duty with Bomb Group

LT. RICHARD J. LEWIS, JR.
Lieutenant Richard J. Lewis, Jr., son of Commander and Mrs. R. J. Lewis, 1724 Coolidge Court, is back on active duty with his original bomb squadron and bomb group, somewhere in the Philippines, fully recovered from injuries suffered early in January.

The bomber pilot went to the Pacific area last June and was reported injured on January 6.

Mrs. Lewis has received a letter from Lieutenant General George C. Kenney, Headquarters Far East Air Forces, stating that her son had recently been awarded the Air Medal for meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flights in the Southwest Pacific area from July 20, 1944 to September 12, 1944.


Lt. R J. Lewis Sinks Jap Ships
FIFTH AIR FORCE, Philippine Islands—Veteran of 37 missions against the Japs as Assistant Operations Officer of a B-25 unit in the Philippines, First Lieutenant Richard J. Lewis, 21, son of Mrs. Richard J. Lewis of 1724 Coolidge Court, Eau Claire, recently sunk two small Jap cargo vessels in one mission off the Indo-China coast.

A member of the 345th Bombardment Group Air Apaches, a low level bomber-strafer outfit, the Eau Claire pilot has had an action-packed career during the past seven months. He took part in the aerial offensive south of the Philippines and later during the ground operations in the Philippines. Last January, he survived a crash-landing in Philippine waters and aided in the rescue of injured members of his crew. Lieutenant Lewis has been awarded the Air Medal for meritorious achievement; while participating in sustained aerial operations and has been recommended for a higher award for the "ditching" incident in January. For injuries which included minor bums at that time, he has been recommended for the Purple Heart Award.

Lieutenant Lewis, whose father, Commander Richard J. Lewis, is on active duty with the Navy in the European Theater, entered the Army in December 1942 and received his wings in February 1944.

He is a former student at the University of Wisconsin, where he starred in football and baseball.


Lewis-Lathrop Combination Serve Together Since 1942
CAPT. RICHARD LEWIS (left) and 1ST LT. RICHARD LATHROP 
Carrying on a sort of Damon and Pythias type of friendship, which has brought them from the college classroom to the far-flung airways of the Pacific, two Wisconsin airmen have begun their second year of battling the Japs as a team.

Both Mitchell bomber pilots in the 345th Bombardment Group Air Apaches, a hard-hitting, low-level attack unit of the Fifth Air Force in the Philippines, the two flyers are Captain Richard J. Lewis, son of Commander and Mrs. Richard J. Lewis, 1724 Coolidge Court, and First Lieutenant Richard C. Lathrop, son of Mr. and Mrs. L. H. Lathrop, 8218 Gridley Avenue, Wauwatosa. 

Veteran pilots, now with nearly 100 missions between them, the pair met at the University of Wisconsin in 1942 and their paths have been inseparable since. Both entered the Army on December 13, 1942 and were sent to Sheppard Field, TX, where they volunteered for cadet training in the Army Air Force. From then on, the inexplicable workings of the Army kept the two fledglings together through primary, basic, and advanced training to graduation and commissions at Stuttgart, AR. 

Faced with a choice of planes, the Lewis-Lathrop combination chose B-25 strafer-bombers and, although only five per cent of the class got their preferences, the two Wisconsin men found themselves at Columbia, SC for overseas training. Flying the Pacific separately, the pair nevertheless joined again as flyers with the Air Apaches on a small island in the Netherlands East Indies and have been hitting the Japs together ever since throughout the Philippines and the Western Pacific.

Both Captain Lewis and Lieutenant Lathrop chalked up outstanding records as flight leaders in the Air Apaches during recent air blockade operations in the South China Sea. Captain Lewis is credited with dunking at least two Jap cargo vessels, while his counterpart from Wauwatosa shared in sinking several others on the same missions. In a six-week period, the Air Apaches group sank some, virtually cutting the Jap sea lanes to the "southern empire."


Richard Lewis Made Captain in Philippines

FIFTH AIR FORCE, Philippine Islands—Richard J. Lewis, 21, veteran Mitchell bomber pilot of Eau Claire, recently was promoted to Captain.

Pilot and flight leader with the 345th Bombardment Group Air Apaches, Captain Lewis has over 300 combat hours against the Japs, is credited with sinking two enemy ships, and damaging another in the South China Sea, and has survived a “ditching” in Philippine waters.  His outfit, the Air Apaches, took a major part in the Philippines air offensive and spearheaded the Fifth Air Force’s blockade of Jap shipping in the South China Sea.

The Eau Claire flyer, son of Mrs. Richard J. Lewis 1724 Coolidge Street, has been awarded the Air Medal with a bronze Oak Leaf Cluster for “meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight.”  He has been recommended for the Distinguished Flying Cross for actions against enemy shipping.

Captain Lewis’ father is Commander Richard J. Lewis of the United States Navy.