World War II veteran to speak

The Mahoning Valley Historical Heritage Group will hear Wallace King, a veteran of World War II, complete his story about the events of the air war over Europe April 21 at 6:30 p.m. at A La Carte Catering in Canfield, with dinner preceding the speech.

King, who previously shared his story in March of 2013, was a P-47 Thunderbolt pilot. One of the incidents he spoke of last March was the loss of his wingman and that story of what became of him will now be told.

Trained as a P-51 pilot, King was sent overseas as a replacement pilot. Anticipating heavy losses in the D-Day invasion, King expected to see action as a Mustang pilot. Due to minimal losses with faint German Luftwaffe resistance during the D-Day operation, King was transferred to the 513 Squadron of the 406 Group of the 19th Air Force. The 19th was a tactical force supporting the ground troops using the heavily armed and armored P-47. After only 30 minutes of training and one landing, King began plying his new trade. His longest mission was 3.5 hours with an average mission time of 2 hours.

The 513th Squadron was the initial test group for the newly developed, high velocity rockets. After flying 74 missions, King was sent to an area of rest.

Returning to base in April of 1945, his first mission with the new rocket weaponry ended in disaster as he was shot down on his 75th mission. Following Germany’s surrender, he spent several weeks in army hospitals. King was assigned to the Reserves in October of 1945 and returned to civilian life.

The meeting is open to the public, but reservations are required. Contact David Frank, president, at 330-757-0515 before April 18 to make a reservation.

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