Fred C. McClanahan
U. S. Army Air Corps
WWII US Military
Pilot and instructor in the P-38 . P-51 pilot in Europe

Fred was already in the U.S. Army Air Forces when Pearl Harbor was bombed. "From that moment on, that day on, I never had civilian clothes on until after the war was over," he recalls. Born in Little Rock, Fred moved with his family to Homer, Louisiana in 1920 during an oil boom. He entered Centenary College in 1937, and then enrolled in the Civilian Pilot Training Program in 1939. Enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Forces in 1941 at Barksdale Field, he trained in a P-38, and then sailed to Europe on the Queen Mary with fifteen people squeezed into his cabin. March of 1944 found him with the 364th Fighter Group at a base near Honington, England. He flew "milk runs" across the English Channel, and escorted bombers, flying P-51s on longer missions. He says he saw no German planes on D-Day, when he patrolled both coasts of England and France. Fred engaged in several dogfights with enemy aircraft. He often flew "three days or so" and had "two to three days off." After "68 or 69" missions, Fred was shipped home "around Thanksgiving" of 1944. He served as commander of an engineering squadron at Indian Springs near Las Vegas, Nevada from January to July of 1945. He was discharged in September of 1945 at Camp Shelby near Hattiesburg, Mississippi. While working in life insurance for most of his career. He also joined the reserves and served for twenty years.