|Pilot Wade Lewis
Built by Republic. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 49th Fighter Group, 9th Fighter Squadron. No known nose art or nickname.
Took off on a fighter sweep over the Markham Valley, engaged enemy fighters and during combat, this P-47 was hit by enemy canon fire he was injured by shrapnel from a 20mm [or 13mm] cannon shell that damaged his plane, impacting the control stick and wounding him inside his legs. Damaged, he was forced to belly land inside enemy territory.
On impact, the P-47 skidded over several hundred yards of jungle, clearing a swath in the vegetation before it came to rest. During the landing, the engine, wings and tail separated from the fuselage. Afraid of Japanese in the immediate vicinity,
Lewis fired a few rounds then became unconscious from his wounds and a broken leg sustained during the landing.
Fate of the Pilot
Lewis was rescued and returned to duty.
David Lewis (son) adds:
"Apparently, he made a private agreement with his commanding officer that if he could re-qualify with his cast on that he wouldn't send him home. He had to deny the crash location in order to remain with his squadron or he would have been shipped home. My father is still alive today and claims he knows where he went down and can approximate it on a map. On the accident report my father told me the paperwork was changed to show that the crash happened on a takeoff and not in a combat area. Unfortunately this took away his benefit of disability but most importantly the honor of receiving his purple heart for being wounded in combat."
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?
February 4, 2018