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Frank S Fong

Military

Frank Fong served as a fighter pilot with the 359th Fighter Group. On 29 June 1944 he was sent on detached service to Air Sea Rescue as part of what became known as the 5th Emergency Rescue Squadron.

Lt. Frank S. Fong enlisted on 27 October 1942. Assigned to the 369th Fighter Squadron on 21 February 1944, he flew 44 combat missions with the 359th Fighter Group through 29 June 1944, when he went on detached service to 5ERS, then the 496FTG, before returning home to Miami, FL, on 23 January 1945.

15 March 1944: At the other end of the scale, a section of 369th fought 10 Me109s from 26,000 down to the 12,000, Lt. Charles H. Kruger destroying one. Kruger came out on the deck with Lts. Robert L. Thacker and Frank S. Fong. On the way they strafed two locomotives. All three had a difficult time getting home as all hit trees and/or high tension wires inside Germany. But the Thunderbolts again behaved like homing pigeons despite battered wings and torn propeller blades

27 March 1944: The group’s 57th mission on 27 March cost Lt. Kerns in a muddled combat by Captain McKee’s flight which the rest of the group never could find. There was much initial doubt if we could get off that day on Field Order 282, an attack on Chartres. Zero hour was delayed 60 minutes at 1100 but at 1145, Wretham still had only 1100 yards visibility and a 300-foot ceiling. The weather cleared slightly, and the group got up at 1257 with 47 aircraft. Lt. Fong, who knocked down a Focke-Wulf 190 was the only Chinese-American pilot in the theatre the day he scored this victory on his seventh mission. Then 24, he was born in Augusta, Ga., worked as a commercial artist, entered the Army 18 May, 1942, and was commissioned 1 October, 1943. His father is a chef in a Miami restaurant. He came, via Atcham, from RTU at Fort Meyer. Lt. Pherson one of the group’s originals, also scored that day, and Captain McKee claimed two damaged.

On 23 January 1945 he was transferred to the 555th Fighter Training Squadron of the 496th Fighter Training Squadron. He served with the Headquarters of the 496th FTG.

Fong fought the Veterans Administration for over 50 years, before finally getting compensation and backpay for an injury he received during WWII in his P-47.

Awards: DFC (OLC), AM (7OLC), PH, WWII Victory, EAME (6 bronze stars).

Service

Units served with

Associated Place

  • East Wretham

    Military site : airfield
    East Wretham was not improved to Class A standard. It retained its shorter runways, although eventually pierced-steel planking was laid to make take offs and landings easier for the Thunderbolt, and then Mustang, pilots. Steel matting was also laid to...

  • Halesworth

    Military site : airfield
    Halesworth was constructed in 1942-1943. Initially planned as a bomber airfield, its location close to the Suffolk coast meant that it was in an ideal position to operate escort fighters, where range was a critical factor. Consequently, the 56th...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Augusta, GA, USA 9 April 1919
Lived in Essex County, NJ, USA 1942

Essex County, NJ

Enlisted Newark, NJ, USA 27 October 1942

Enlistment Date:
27 Oct 1942
Release Date:
9 May 1946

Based East Wretham 1944 – 29 June 1944

Assigned to 369FS, 359FG, 8AF USAAF.

E/A Destroyed Germany 27 March 1944

Fw190 destroyed 27-Mar-44.

Promotion Wretham, Thetford IP24, UK 11 June 1944

Promoted to 1st Lieutenant

Detached Service Halesworth IP19, UK 29 June 1944 – 23 January 1945

Detached Service with 5th ERS.

Based Goxhill 23 January 1945 – May 1945

Transferred to 555FTS, 496FTG, 8AF USAAF.

Enlisted 5 April 1951

Enlistment Date:
5 Apr 1951
Release Date:
10 Apr 1953

Lived in Miami-Dade County, FL, USA 1958
Died Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA 24 March 2007

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
10 February 2018 13:17:29 Al_Skiff Changes to highest rank, role, biography, awards, events, unit associations and place associations
Sources

https://www.fold3.com/record/15903544-frank-s-fong
https://www.fold3.com/record/624492018-frank-fong-1919
https://www.fold3.com/record/83549780-frank-s-fong
http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2007-03-27/news/0703260270_1_mr-fong-fi...

Date Contributor Update
01 July 2016 09:40:39 Lucy May Changes to service number, highest rank, biography, events, unit associations and place associations
Sources

Brought in information from duplicate record. Source:
Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list

Date Contributor Update
30 June 2016 16:17:08 Richard Boxted Changes to media associations
Sources

Richard Boxted

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:10:10 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

359th Newsletter, Unit History / Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia

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