One Marine Out Of Many: Lieutenant Gordon R. Lewis

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In honor of the 239th birthday of the United States Marine Corps, we have here a photograph of Lieutenant Gordon Ryhs Lewis.

Lewis, a 23-year-old squadron officer with VMSB-233, was a highly decorated veteran of many dive bombing missions; he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross “for heroism and extraordinary achievement.” His radioman-gunner, Corporal Samuel Melish of Cincinnati, was likewise experienced; the two flew together for nearly eighteen months.

On January 28, 1945, Lewis and Melish took their last flight.

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The Dauntless dive bomber hit the ground about four miles from Fort Stotsenburg, near Clark Air Force Base – far behind Japanese lines. There was no chance to rescue or recover Lewis or Melish, so their comrades held a moving ceremony at the newly re-christened Camp Lewis.

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Semper Fi, Marines.

Satellite views of the location of the Lewis crash site. The pin is set at 120° 15’E, 15° 30’N.

Photograph of Lt. Lewis and newspaper article kindly provided by Jean Smith.

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