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This Day in Norwood History-October 6, 1954-Col George T Lee, War Ace and Pilot, Killed in Jet Crash

Col , 34, of 238 av., . an inspector general, and his pilot, Capt Kenneth L Childs, 30. of Hickman Mills, Mo., were killed yesterday when their jet plane crashed in Gerald, Mo., during a thunderstorm.

The two officers, both stationed at Command Headquarters, Grandview Air Force Base, near , were on a routine flight from Grandview to Rapid City, Neb., when they ran into the storm and tried to change course to reach Scott Air Force Base near Belleville, Ill., the Air Force said. The plane crashed into woods on a farm two miles north of Gerald, Mo.

Col Lee, who was drafted in December of , was the holder of the E. T. O. of 258 combat missions as a pilot of a and was a former commander of the 86th Fighter Group, called “.” He was promoted to the rank of colonel at the age of 25.

Col Lee received his basic and preflight training in Alabama, South Carolina and Florida. He was overseas as a 2d lieutenant with the 12th Air Force and within a short time he was known as the iron man in the Air Force.

During he was awarded the British and the United States Distinguished Flying Cross and with 13 oak leaf clusters. He was commissioned a major when 24 years old and was made a full colonel in 1945.

A butcher boy before joining the Air Force, Col Lee was welcomed home to Norwood in October of 1945 by more than 3000 persons.

He was graduated from Norwood High with the class of 1938 and attended M. I. T. for two years before working. in a local chain store.

He is survived by his mother. Mrs. of 26 Rock st.; two brothers, Vincent and Thomas F., all of Norwood; two sisters, Mrs. Dorothy Donovan of Norwood and Mrs. Alice Adams of Brimfield.


October 6,

Awaits Return of Flyer’s Body

NORWOOD, Oct. 6— plans for . Lee, 34, of 238 Railroad av., Inspector General of the Central Air Defense Command, who was killed in a plane in Missouri, today awaited word of the return of his body here.

Col Lee. holder of the ETO record of 258 combat missions as a pilot of a P-47 Thunderbolt in World War II, was on a routine flight yesterday with his pilot, Capt Kenneth E. Childs, 30, of Hickman Hills, Mo., when their plane ran into a storm.

The plane fell into woods on a farm two miles north of Gerald, Mo., after an attempt had been made to change course to reach Scott Air Force Base, near Belleville, Ill., the Air Force said.

During his two years in the European theatre, he was in six plane crashes, but each time walked away without serious injury.

A Colonel at 25

A former commander of the 86th Fighter Group, called “Lee’s Lieutenants,” the pilot was promoted to the rank of full colonel at the age of 25.

Col Lee, who was drafted in December. 1941, received his basis and pre-flight training in Alabama, South Carolina and Florida. He was graduated from Moultrie Field. Georgia, on Aug. 5, , and went immediately to Europe.

Lee became known as “Iron Man.” due to his record number of combat missions and brushes with .

In World War II, he was awarded , , the United States Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal with 13 Oak Leaf Clusters.

Norwood High Graduate

Col Lee was welcomed home in October of 1945 by over 3000 persons in Norwood. He was graduated from Norwood in 1938 and attended M. I. T. for two years.

After the war, he assumed command of a group of crack jet fighters at Weisbaden, Ger.

In recent years, Col Lee was stationed at command headquarters of the Grandview Air Force Base near Kansas City.

He is survived by his mother Mrs. Mary J. Lee of 26 Rock st. two brothers, Vincent and Thoma; F., all of Norwood; two sisters. Mrs. Dorothy Donovan of Norwood and Mrs. Alice Adams of Brimfield.

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