John S. Loisel





John Loisel


After graduating as a Pilot in September 1942 John Loisel was assigned to the 36th Fighter Squadron of the 8th Fighter Group based in New Guinea. With over 300 missions in World War II’s Pacific Theatre, John Loisel spent more than 3 consecutive years in combat--longer than any other US pilot. Born in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and raised in Norfolk, Nebraska. He quickly advanced to flight lead, and in October 1943 became an "Ace" when he downed two Japanese fighters in a single engagement over Oro Bay, just 2 months after his first victory. Three months later, Loisel took command of the 432nd Fighter Squadron, a unit assigned to strike targets in New Guinea and the Halmaharas, and cover General Macarthur's return to the Philippines. Advising his squadron pilots to "Head for the main body of the enemy…disregard stragglers...(and) plow into the largest bunch you see," he gained a reputation for aggressiveness which was soon reinforced by two more victories over enemy fighters. He later earned promotion to lieutenant colonel and command of the 475th Fighter Group. Loisel flew more than 875 hours in combat--all by the age of 25. Popular and respected, he became the 475th’s fourth leading ace while flying in the company of top scoring aces Charles MacDonald, Dick Bong, and Thomas McGuire.


During the Koran Conflict Loisel commanded the 47th Fighter-Bomber Group flying the F84 on 22 combat missions. He retired from the Air Force in 1970 with over 5,500 flying hours, 323 combat missions, and 11 confirmed aerial victories

Loisel's Crew Chief Photographed in front of His P-38 'Screamin Kid'