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Urban L Drew


Urban L "Ben" Drew joined the US Army Air Force in 1942, and trained P-51 Mustang pilots after graduating from Marian, Florida. He arrived in England in October 1944 and joined the 361st Fighter Group. Drew completed 75 missions with the 361st and became an Ace, claiming 6 kills. Drew notably shot down two ME 262 on 7 October 1944, he had encountered an ME 262 on a previous mission, and reported his experience to Allied intelligence. On a mission in early October 1944, Drew was grounded for performing a victory roll. His punishment was repealed when intelligence reported Me 262s near Brux and Drew, with prior experience of the aircraft, was tasked with leading the mission. He was awarded the Air Force Cross for heroism, but as Drew's gun camera failed during the mission, and his appeal for the Distinguished Flying Cross was denied. He eventually received the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1983 after the German Luftwaffe archives and the American Air Force archives confirmed both kills.

After completing his tour of duty in the European Theatre, Drew returned to the United States, working at various training bases. In 1945 he was transferred to Iwo Jima, Japan in the Pacific Theatre of Operations flying P-47 Thunderbolts with the 413th Squadron, 414th Fighter Group, 10th Air Force.

Following the War he started an aviation business in Britain and South Africa.

6 aerial kills, one ground kill, one water kill (shot down first ever two Me-262's), sank and burned largest aircraft in world, the Blohm & Voss BV238-V1 on 18 September 1944.Hitler was going to use it to bomb Washington and New York

AFC/ 2 DFCs/ 17 AMs


Units served with

  • 361st Fighter Group

    361st Fighter Group

    The 361st Fighter Group was the last P-47 Thunderbolt Group to join the Eighth Air Force. Between 21 January 1944 and 20 April 1945, the Group flew 441 missions, the majority in an escort role in support of bombers flying over occupied Europe. The...

  • 375th Fighter Squadron


Associated Place

  • Bottisham

    Military site : airfield
    The P-47 Thunderbolts of the 361st Fighter Group damaged the surfaces of the airfield so much in the first months of flying from Bottisham that American engineers were called in to lay a new runway. In January 1944 they constructed a 1,470-yard-long...

  • Little Walden

    Military site : airfield
    Little Walden was built as a Class A airfield suitable for American heavy bombers. The 409th Bomb Group, as part of the Ninth Air Force, was stationed at the base between March and September 1944, flying A-20 Havocs. ...


Event Location Date
Born Detroit, Michigan 21 March 1924
Shot down two ME 262 Near Achmer, Germany 7 October 1944
Transferred to Pacific Theatre of Operations Iwo Jima, Japan 1945
End Tour of Duty (ETD)


Date Contributor Update
01 October 2014 12:20:41 Emily Changes to nickname, highest rank, biography, awards, events and place associations

Account of shooting down two Me 262s:

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:26:19 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list / self, Fighter Aces of the U. S. A. and Mustang Aces of the Eighth Air Force