Ace of the Day: Captain Jefferson J. DeBlanc, USMCR (Ret)

JEFFERSON J. DEBLANC

Captain, USMCR (Ret)

WWII :: Confirmed Kills- 9  and one probable

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DeBlancJefferson Joseph DeBlanc was born on February 15, 1921, in Lockport, Louisiana and was reared in St. Martinsville, Louisiana. He entered Navy flight training in July 1941 under the V-5 Program. Transferring to the U.S. Marine Corps upon graduation on April 3, 1942, he was assigned to North Island in San Diego.

In October 1942, DeBlanc joined VMF-112 “Wolfpack” ten days before they sailed for the Solomon Islands. He entered combat on November 10, 1942, with less than 10 hours in the F4F Wildcat, and scored a double and one probable two days later when fighter pilots of the “Cactus Air Force” shot down 24 of 25 Betty bombers making runs on the fleet off Henderson Field, Guadalcanal.

DeBlanc’s big afternoon came on January 31, 1943, when he shot down two floatplanes and three Zeros about sundown. He was shot down during this engagement, but was picked up by the coast watchers’ network and returned 13 days later. For this action DeBlanc received the Medal of Honor.

In 1944 he returned to the Pacific with VMF-422 to the Marshall Islands. The unit later moved up to Okinawa in April 1945, where he scored his last victory, a Val, on May 28. DeBlanc retired with the rank of colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve in 1972, and then he taught in Europe for several years.

Decorations: Medal of Honor, Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart and the Air Medal with 4 Gold Stars

Source: American Fighter Aces Album ©1996

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