Lewis Hyde Brereton
born: June 21, 1890 in Allegheny, PA
died: July 1967 in Maitland, FL
Lieutenant General, U.S. Army Air Corps (Three Stars)
When he was 13 his family moved to Chesapeake Bay at Annapolis.
He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1911 (three years behind
his brother, Bill) and transferred to the Army.
When the U.S. entered WW I, he rose rapidly from 1st Lt. to high
command in the Air Service and came through with a distinguished
record, a D.S.C. (Distinguished Service Cross), Croix de Guerre,
the Legion of Honor among other decorations. His explanation of
that was simple: "I was flying like hell to get home and a
lot of Huns got in my way."
1941, at the start of WW II saw him a Major General, commanding
the 3rd Air Force at Tampa, FL. and by October he'd flown to Manila
to assume command of the American Air Forces in the Far East, just
two months before Japan struck at Pearl Harbor. He fought in every
major theater during WW II, the one air commander whose experiences
might be truly described as global. From the Philippines he moved
to Australia with the broken remnant of his bomber squadron, went
on the China-Berma-India theater, thence to North Africa, where
he formed the Ninth Air Force (famous raid on Ploesti, Rumania Oil
Refineries 8/1/43). He was then called to England to establish the
Tactical Air Force which was to provide close support for the Normandy
invasion. Then chosen to command the First Allied Airborne Army
which made history at Arnhem, at the Rhine Crossing and at the bloody
Battle of the Bulge.
Cover of TIME Magazine: May 4, 1942.
Author: The Brereton Diaries, The Ward in the Air in the Pacific,
Middle East, and Europe: 1941-1945. Published in 1946 by William
Morrow & Co.
We received an e-mail from a member of L.H.
From: William Shrum
Sent: Thursday, April 11, 2002 5:11 PM
Subject: L H Brereton
I was assigned to his crew around March of 1945 as a radio operator.
The pilot, the next most important member of the crew was Richard
Lapore., co pilot James Stephenson, crew chief Penrose A Bingaman,
and navigator Joe D Pettigrew.
The pilot and I were from the 447th Bomb Group, the 710 squadron
and had finished our combat tour, I do not know the group origin
of the other crew members. We fist flew to France and picked up
a new B17 G ser. no. 439440, that had been fitted with carpeting,
seating and other amenities. Several trans ocean trips were made
with and without the General, who was always attended by his aid,
a WAC major and a major and Sergent from the 82nd or the 101st Airborne
The first crossing from Europe we landed at Mitchell Field, Long
Island NY, then to Camp Blanding Florida for oders requiring all
to report Mc Dill in the Tampa Florida area.
If you would like to call I would be pleased to hear from you.
Los Angeles CA