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Richard Benjamin Lewis

Military

Richard Lewis was a Pilot in the 493rd Bomb Group/862nd Bomb Squadron. He and his original crew were assigned B-24 Serial #42-50650 at Dow Field, Bangor, Maine on 19 May 1944. They flew it to England and probably were on board it for their first mission on 18 July 1944. Dick Lewis flew 34 missions (and an aborted one) from 18 July to 6 October 1944. The first 10 ones were flown on B-24s, among which Serials #42-94865 ("Baby Bug") and #42-94937 ("Call Me Savage"). Flying on B-17s for the rest of his tour, he piloted, among others, "Tempest Turner" # 43-38216, named after Hollywood actress Lana Turner.
Dick Lewis described his most memorable mission [ 16 August 1944 to Halberstadt, Germany ] when he visited the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum: "10th mission in B-24s, lost engine #1 and #2 -Flew back to base on 2-(what a beast) lost 9000 feet but made it ok-took both me and co-pilot, locking our knees, holding rudder all the way in to fly straight-no gas gauges so flew from one Air Sea Rescue Boat to another all the way back."
Dick Lewis has written a book about his life, his war tour in WWII and his service in the Korean War called 'Angel On My Wing' (published in 2009 by High Pitched Hum Publishing).

Service

People

  • William Adickes

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 493rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 862BS, 493BG, 8AF USAAF. Awards: DFC, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Vincent Bovo

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 493rd Bomb Group

  • Frank Burris

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 493rd Bomb Group

  • Raymond Caporgno

    Military | Lieutenant | Navigator | 493rd Bomb Group

  • Harry Cross

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Flight Engineer; Top Turret Gunner | 493rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 862BS, 493BG, 8AF USAAF. Awards: DFC, AM, WWII Victory, EAME(2 x battle stars).

  • Milton Elder

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 493rd Bomb Group

  • Albert Giordano

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 493rd Bomb Group

  • Richard Jones

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 493rd Bomb Group

  • William Koch

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 493rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 862BS, 493BG, 8AF USAAF. Awards: DFC, AM (3OLC), WWII Victory, EAME (2 Battle stars).

  • Paul Lambert

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 493rd Bomb Group

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Units served with

  • 493rd Bomb Group

    493rd Bomb Group

    Group
    The 493rd Bomb Group was the last Eighth Air Force Group to become operational, flying their first combat mission from Debach, Suffolk, on D-Day, 6 June 1944. The Group was known as "the Fighting 493rd", named by their Commanding Officer Colonel Elbert...

  • 862nd Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 43-38216 Tempest Turner

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 8 July 1944; Kearney 18 July 1944; Dow Field 3 August 1944. Assigned 862BS/493BG Debach 4 August 1944. Named by the John I Lewis crew. Transferred 18BS/34BG Mendlesham 1945. Returned to the USA Bradley 26 June 1945. 4168 Base Unit,...

  • 42-94865 Baby Bug, Baby Bug II, Baby Bug III

    B-24 Liberator
    "Baby Bug" # 42-94865 was first assigned to the 490th Bomb Group/850th Bomb Squadron, then transferred to the 493rd Bomb Group/862nd Bomb Squadron for a short while. It was piloted by Lt Richard B. Lewis of the 493rd on the 19 July 1944 mission to...

  • 42-94937 "Call Me Savage"

    B-24 Liberator
    B-24H #42-94937 "Call Me Savage" was first assigned to the 490th Bomb Group/849th Bomb Squadron at Eye. Transferred to the 493rd Bomb Group/862nd Bomb Squadron at Debach. 493rd BG Pilot Richard B. Lewis flew it on the 25 July 1944 support mission West...

  • 42-50650

    B-24 Liberator
    B-24J #42-50650 was assigned to Lt Richard B. Lewis' crew (493rd Bomb Group / 862nd Bomb Squadron) by order of 1 June 1944.

Missions

  • 481

    18 July 1944
    Flew an easy one over Denmark to Germany. Only had one hours sleep between yesterday and today.

  • 8th Air Force

    19 July 1944

  • 486

    21 July 1944

  • 494

    25 July 1944

  • 503

    29 July 1944

  • 508

    1 August 1944

  • 514

    4 August 1944

  • 524

    6 August 1944

  • 548

    13 August 1944
    We led the entire Division in a tactical mission. The target: Roads to Paris. Colonel McKnight flew Pilot; Lt Houser was Co-Pilot. Results of bombing A1.

  • 8th Air Force 556

    16 August 1944
    Aircraft factories and oil refineries are the primary targets for this mission. A total of 1090 heavy bombers are despatched. See Mission Details for particulars. ...

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Associated Place

  • Debach

    Military site : airfield
    Debach was one of the last Eighth Air Force heavy bomber bases to be completed. It was built by the 820th Engineer Battalion (Aviation) between late '43 and early '44. Pronounced locally as 'Deb-idge', the base was built to a class A standard with...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Arkansas City, Kansas 2 April 1922

the son of Benjamin and Eula Lewis

Lived in Farmington, Missouri, United States 1942
Enlisted Saint Louis, Missouri, United States 25 June 1942

as a Private in the Air Corps

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
02 July 2016 21:04:50 ED-BB Changes to media associations
Sources

Connected to group photo in front of 43-38216

Date Contributor Update
02 July 2016 12:32:19 ED-BB Changes to middlename, service number, biography, awards, events, person associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

"Angel on My Wing" by Richard B. Lewis
NARA WWII Enlistment records

Date Contributor Update
11 October 2014 21:37:53 Lucy May Changes to biography and awards
Sources

See this article published by the Daily Journal in Park Hills, Missouri: http://dailyjournalonline.com/news/local/book-by-dick-lewis-tells-of-exp...

Date Contributor Update
11 October 2014 15:18:32 LucyM Changes to nickname, biography and place associations
Sources

As told to me by Dick Lewis.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:22:25 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / self, http://493bgdebach.co.uk/roster_list.php

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