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Location: /Squadron Patches/Army Air Force Squadrons/AAF units #'d 400-499

WWII Patch, AAF, 431-FS 475-FG, 5th AF, So. Pacific LEATHER

WWII Patch, AAF, 431-FS 475-FG, 5th AF, So. Pacific  LEATHER

Product Information
WWII US Army Air Force Fighting Squadron Patch - LEATHER
431st Fighter Squadron, 475th Fighter Group, 5th AAF
USAAF  431 FS, 475 FG,  5 AF       431 SQ, Fifth AF, So. Pacific
Hades - Devils Angels - Daddy
Charles Lindbergh, Thomas B. McGuire, John Tilley
~4.75 inches

Activated on 14 May 1943 by special authority prior to constitution as 431st Fighter Squadron on 15 May 1943.  Inactivated on 1 April 1949.  
Assigned to:  475th Fighter Group, Fifth Air Force - 14 May 1943-1 April 1949.  Aircraft: P-38 Lightning, 1943–1946.

Operations history
Combat in Southwest Pacific and Western Pacific, 12 August 1943 - 21 July 1945. Occupation duty (Japan), 1945-1949.

The 431st radio call signs were "Hades" and later "Daddy." The "Hades" call sign was what led to my design for the Squadron insignia, and the Group's "Satan's Angels" name. When I first joined the 475th at Dobo the Group was looking for a Group insignia and everyone was encouraged to submit a design. I thought a red devil's head on a blue field with golden yellow stars representing the Southern Cross (the Group was formed in Australia) would cover the three Squadron colors of red (431st), yellow (432nd) and blue (433rd). I put a halo around the devil's head because we were, after all, "the good guys." "Satan's Angels" seemed a natural because of the devil's head with halo. Group didn't think the insignia was formal enough but kept the name Satan' s Angels. The 431st then adopted the insignia for itself. I still like the insignia and am very proud of it, but after all these years "Satan's Angels" is beginning to sound rather corny. - John Tilley P-38 Ace, 475th Fighter Group

     Charles Lindbergh left North Island, San Diego on 24 April 1944 headed for the South Pacific as a civilian technical representative of the makers of the Corsair Marine/Navy fighter, which initially allowed him to observe combat, but not to become involved and fire his guns., Nobody in the White House, not even the Secretary of the Navy, Frank Knox, knew of Lindbergh's trip to the South Pacific area. He obtained some Navy uniforms from Brook Brothers, minus Navy insignia. He then participated in a number of "photo shoots" which portrayed Lindbergh leaving San Diego for the "War Zone"., However Lindbergh ended up flying 35 combat missions in the Pacific, including some against Japanese targets on New Ireland and New Britain. The missions involved  strafing runs and the dive bombing of Japanese troops at the bases of Rabaul and Kavieng. On 29 May 1944, he dropped a 500 lbs high explosive bomb on Kavieng, hitting a strip of buildings along the beach. Most of his missions were with the 475th Fighter Group, the "all-P38" group that was formed at Amberley Field in mid-1943.
     After spending some time flying with Navy and Marine pilots, he then decided to move to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) to observe P-38's in real combat action. He contacted his friend General Ennis Whitehead who invited him to Hollandia.
When Lindbergh arrived surreptitiously in New Guinea after spending time with a Marine Corps squadron in the Solomon Islands, he was permitted to fly Ace Richard Ira Bong's P-38 to Hollandia, Dutch New Guinea, to obtain combat experience with the  475th Fighter Group. Apparently Lindbergh had hitched a lift into New Guinea, arriving at Finschhafen on 15 June 1944. On 26 June 1944, he interrupted a game of checkers to introduce himself to Charles MacDonald, the Commanding Officer of the   475th Fighter Group  ( "Satan's Angels"). Lindbergh met with General Whitehead at Nadzab on about 1 July 1944.
     MacDonald allowed Lindbergh to go on his first mission the following day to Jefman Island and Samate, regular targets for the 475th Fighter Group. There were 4 aircraft, lead by MacDonald himself. Lindbergh's company in the other two aircraft were Fighter Aces, Thomas McGuire and Meryl Smith.
McGuire was the second ranking American fighter ace of all time with 38 confirmed kills. Lindbergh strafed an enemy barge in Kaiboes Bay during that mission, whilst weaving his way through the ack-ack barrage.
     After several more bombing missions, the 475th's crew chief noticed that Lindbergh's P-38 usually returned with much more fuel left than any other aircraft. MacDonald introduced Lindbergh to the rest of the group and asked him to explain why he would always return with more fuel left than the rest of the group. Lindbergh explained that by raising manifold pressure and lowering engine revolutions, the P-38 would use much less fuel, thus allowing a great combat radius for the same fuel load. Over the next few weeks the 3 squadrons of the 475th Fighter Group found they could extend their 6 to 8 hours missions out to 10 hours, allowing them to strike deeper into Japanese territory. In this time Lindbergh flew 25 missions for 90 hours of combat flying. This was more missions than would have been expected from a regular combat pilot. He dive-bombed enemy positions, sank Japanese barges, patrolled allied landing forces on Noemfoor Island and was shot at by nearly every Japanese anti-aircraft gun in western New Guinea. <link>

Major Thomas B. McGuire, Jr. - Medal of Honor Recipient
In March 1943, McGuire was ordered to report to the 49th Fighter Group, Fifth Air Force, in the Southwest Pacific. While he was with the 49th, he first met Dick Bong, already known as the group's hottest pilot. In mid-July, he reported to the 431st Squadron of the 475th Fighter Group, General Kenney's new, all P-38 group.  Consequently, the 475th started off with some of the best pilots and enlisted crews in the Pacific. The Group started at Port Moresby in southern New Guinea, flying P-38H's. They flew their first combat missions in August, 1943, up and over the Owen Stanley Range, flying in support of McArthur's drive up New Guinea's northern coast and attacking the Japanese airdrome at Wewak. On the 18th, 1st Lieutenant McGuire faced the Japanese fliers in combat for the first time. He made the most of it, hitting five of them. One could not be confirmed and he lost a coin toss for another, leaving him with official credit for three, still not too bad for a rookie pilot's first fight. (This was the time that his crew had to use steel wool to scrape off a Jap fighter's paint from his Lightning.) Three days later, the 431st visited Wewak again, and McGuire shot down two more Zeros. He was an ace after only two missions! His success was part of the 475th's outstanding combat debut; in its first 10 days, Kenney's new group had downed 40 enemy planes - an unrivaled achievement. On Christmas Day 1944, McGuire volunteered to lead a squadron of fifteen planes to provide protection for B-24 Liberators attacking Mabaldent Airdrome. As the formation crossed over Luzon, the Americans were jumped by twenty Zeros. McGuire shot down three throughout the fight. The following day, he volunteered for a similar mission. One of the B-24's was being hit and while firing at extreme range of 400 yards at a 45 degree deflection shot, McGuire hit the Zero in the cockpit and it burst into flames. During the course of this engagement, McGuire shot down four Zeros, bringing his total to thirty-eight overall. By this time Dick Bong had gone home, for a triumphant tour of the U.S., with 40 victories to his his credit. McGuire had 38, was still in combat, and there were still plenty of Jap planes around. Everyone, including McGuire, expected him to break Bong's record. It seemed like just a matter of time, not too much time at that. Afterward, McGuire would have gone home to a hero's welcome as well. But time ran out for Tommy McGuire, just as he almost had his goal within his grasp.  It is ironic that McGuire did get one thing he wanted so desperately, the Medal of Honor. But a cruel twist of fate resulted in it being awarded posthumously. Tommy McGuire's legacy is still flourishing, and McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey is named after him; and a P-38, decorated as Pudgy V sits outside the base.

    * Charters Towers, Australia, 14 May 1943
    * RAAF Base Amberley, Australia, c. 1 July 1943
    * Dobodura Airfield Complex, New Guinea, 14 August 1943
          Operated from Port Moresby Airfield Complex, New Guinea, 8 August-3 October 1943
    * Nadzab Airfield Complex, New Guinea, 26 March 1944
    * Hollandia Airfield Complex, New Guinea, 15 May 1944
    * Mokmer Airfield, Biak, Netherlands East Indies, 15 July 1944
    * Dulag Airfield, Leyte, 9 November 1944
           Detachment operated from San Jose, Mindoro, 5 February—c. 4 March 1945
    * Clark Field, Luzon, 28 February 1945
    * Lingayen Airfield, Luzon, 19 April 1945
    * Ie Shima Airfield, Okinawa, 8 August 1945
    * Kimpo AB, Korea, 5 October 1945

475TH FIGHTER GROUP, 5TH AAF - "SATAN'S ANGELS" - (based in Australia)
431st Squadron - "Hades" 
432nd Squadron - "Clover"
433rd Squadron - "Possum"

The 475th Fighter Group was constituted at Amberley airfield in Queensland, Australia on 15 May 1943 under the command of Colonel George W. Prentice. It's fighter squadrons, the 431st, 432nd and 433rd were all activated on 14 May 1943. On 1 July 1943, the 431st Fighter Squadron, of the 475th Fighter Group transfers with its P-38 Lightnings from Charters Towers, Queensland, Australia to Amberley airfield, west of Brisbane, in southern Queensland, Australia. The squadron had not been in combat at that stage. The 431st Fighter Squadron, of the 475th Fighter Group, based at Amberley Field, about 40 kms west of Brisbane, began operating from Port Moresby, New Guinea with its P-38's on 8 August 1943 after relocating from Amberley. On 14 August 1943, the Headquarters group of the 475th Fighter Group and it's 431st, 432rd and 433rd Fighter Squadrons transferred from Amberley airfield to Dobodura, in New Guinea. The 431st and 432rd operated from Port Moresby. The 431st operated until October 1943 and the 432nd until September 1943.  The 433rd squadron flew it's first mission on 15 August 1943. On Friday 11 June 1943, the 432d Fighter Squadron, 475th Fighter Group transfers with its P-38 Lightnings from Charters Towers, Australia to Amberley Field/Townsville. On 17 June 1943, the 433d Fighter Squadron, 475th Fighter Group transfers with P-38's from Charters Towers, Australia to Amberley Field.

Price: $375.00 $345.00

Product Code: PatchAAF.0431.431FS.475FG.SoPacific.LEATHER
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