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Anthony Dean Lucas
B-17 Pilot, 5th Bombardment Group, 23rd Bombardment Squadron

Background
Lucas was born on February 6, 1921 in San Bernardino, California. He completed two years of college and was working as an Architect before enlisting in the U. S. Army on October 4, 1941 as an aviation cadet, serial number 19061766.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Bombardment Group, 23rd Bombardment Squadron. Captain Lucas was assigned as pilot of B-17E 41-9222, who renamed it "L'll Nell" in honor of his wife, Nellie who he married in May 1942.

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Diary of Captain Anthony Dean Lucas (piloting B-17E "Li'l Nell" 41-9222):
"July 19, 1943: Nine ships of our squadron took off around midnight to bomb Kahili airfield. All my bombs hit on the target from 14,000 feet. While on the beginning of my bombing run I saw one of my best friends go down in flames [B-17E "Tokyo Taxi" 41-9153]. Shot down by Jap night fighters. He was Lt., soon to be Capt., Eckles, of Santa Barbara. We had been together for the past year in the 23rd. We were both [flight school class] 42E men. His was a real crew, with some swell men, co-pilot, Lt. Jones, a classmate of my co-pilot, Bomb. Lt. Knop, Nav. Lt. Fox, Enj., Sgt. Kelly, Ass. Enj., Sgt. Greene, Radio, Sgt. Davis, Hill and a couple of other men. I'm going to ask if I can take Rex's personal things home to his folks, and one day wife in Santa Barbara. During this same mission I was held in the search lights for six or seven minutes and I imagine the night fighters were getting pretty close."

Lucas named is son "Rex" in honor of his deceased friend, Rex Eckles. Postwar, he remained in the United States Air Force and retired in 1963 with the rank of Colonel.

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Memorials
Lucas retired from the U. S. Air Force (USAF). He passed away on September 2, 2004 and is buried at Riverside National Cemetery.

Relatives
Nellie Lucas (wife of Anthony Dean Lucas)
Rex Lucas (son of Anthony Dean Lucas)
Gwendolyn Waters (daughter of Anthony Dean Lucas)

References
World War II Army Enlistment Records - Anthony D. Lucas
Diary of Captain Anthony Dean Lucas
FindAGrave - Anthony Dean Lucas
Quest for Rex Eckles and B-17E Tokyo Taxi by Gwendolyn Waters
Thanks to Gwendolyn Waters for additional information.

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