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Michael Alba


Born in Pasadena, California, Michael Alba grew up in Simi Valley where his family worked in the orchards. He was a 1937 teammate of future baseball star Jackie Robinson at the Pasadena City College, practicing on Catalina Island with the Cubs team. Michael graduated in 1942 from the University of Redlands on a full tennis scholarship. In August 1942, he enlisted in the Air Corps and at the end of his Aviation Cadet training program, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the USAAF on 5 December 1943. Assigned to the 55th Fighter Group/338th Fighter Squadron in England, he served in that unit from 14 June to 10 July 1944. Detached on that date until 27 July 1944 to the 339th Fighter Group/505th Fighter Squadron, he returned to the 55th/338th on 28 July and was promoted to 1st Lieutenant on 4 August. Ending his combat tour on 12 December 1944, he was assigned to the 70th Replacement Depot in Stone, Staffordshire.
Michael Alba is credited with :
* 1 Heinkel He-111 destroyed on the ground at Giessen, Germany on 12 September 1944
* 1 Me109 destroyed in air combat over the Eisenach and Gotha area, Germany, on 13 September 1944
* 1 Me109 destroyed and 1 damaged on the 2 November 1944 escort mission of bombers to Merseburg, Germany.
After the war, Michael Alba served in the early 50s as an Air Attaché, Air Operations Officer in Latin America and was a member of the Inter-American Defense Board. An advisor on Operations and Training, he was instrumental in the creation of the Venezuela, Honduras and Uruguay air forces. He ended his Air Force career as a Lt Colonel. Michael Alba, who was an avid golfer (he was lovingly known to his friends as “the greatest 80-year old golfer”), served as President of the 55th Fighter Group and 442nd Air Service Group associations and was instrumental in the dedication of the P-38 and P-51 memorials at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.


Units served with

  • 339th Fighter Group

    339th Fighter Group

    In the years before deployment to the UK, the Group had been designated as a Bombardment Group (Dive) and trained in A-24 and A-25 dive-bombers and P-39 Airacobras. When, in April 1944, they joined the Eighth Air Force in Britain though, the pilots...

  • 55th Fighter Group

    55th Fighter Group

    The 55th Fighter Group were the first P-38 Lightning Group to go fully operational from England. The pilots flew long-range escort missions for bombers flying over occupied Europe and racked up 'kills' of their own by destroying enemy aircraft in...

  • 338th Fighter Squadron
  • 505th Fighter Squadron
  • 70th Replacement Depot


  • 44-14171

    P-51 Mustang
    44-14171 was usually flown by Captain Michael Alba, who ended his combat tour on 12 December 1944. ...


Associated Place

  • Fowlmere

    Military site : airfield
    Just as nearby Duxford was known as the 'Duck pond' by American airmen, so Fowlmere was known as 'the Hen Puddle' because of the wet conditions that pervaded the bases during the winter of 1943-1944. The 339th Fighter Group had no choice but to persist...

  • Stone (Jefferson Hall)

    Military site : non-airfield
    Seven camps named after British Admirals: Beatty - AAF 518, Duncan -AAF 509, Howard, Jefferson - AAF 594, Nelson, Drake, Frobisher and Raleigh, were constructed to accommodate workers moved from the Woolwich Arsenal, London to Swynerton ROF (Royal...

  • Wormingford

    Military site : airfield
    Wormingford was a Royal Flying Corps/RAF anti-Zeppelin aircraft Landing Ground First World War, rebuilt for the Eighth Air Force 1942-43. It was a Ninth Air Force base from 1943-44, and home to the 362nd Fighter Group. Switching back to the Eighth Air...


Event Location Date
Born Pasadena, California, United States 23 March 1917

the son of Mexican-born Kinteen and Carmen (Contreras) Alba (Listed as Miguel Alba in the 1940 US Census for Simi Township)

Lived in Simi Valley, Ventura County, California, United States 1942
Enlisted Los Angeles, California, United States 14 August 1942

As a Private in the Air Corps

Died Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States 21 December 2007
Buried 28 December 2007

Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington, Virginia
Section 59, Site 3013


Date Contributor Update
03 January 2021 18:31:25 Al_Skiff Changes to events

Date Contributor Update
03 January 2021 14:28:31 decwriter Changes to awards

NARA files verified DFC and AM with 8 oak leaf clusters. He earned at least one bronze star on the EAME Campaign Medal.

Date Contributor Update
15 November 2016 17:12:47 Al_Skiff Changes to unit associations and place associations

AAM Db entry.

Date Contributor Update
07 September 2016 10:25:10 general ira snapsorter Changes to events

Merged with duplicate entries to include details from:
- Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list

Date Contributor Update
25 September 2015 11:19:17 ED-BB Changes to biography, awards, events, unit associations, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations

NARA WW II Enlistment records
Additional research

Date Contributor Update
25 September 2015 11:08:36 ED-BB Changes to service number

Added Service serial numbers

Date Contributor Update
25 September 2015 11:07:18 ED-BB Changes to media associations

Connected to photo

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:20:07 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / roster