Medals and Badges 2nd Lt. Hughes probably earned
Lew W. Hughes was born in Missouri on February 3, 1921, and had one younger brother, Ray. Lew Hughes graduated from the Hillhouse High School in 1939. He afterwards attended the University of Missouri from 1939 to 1941. Before entering the military service, he was on the staff of the General Electric plant at Bridgeport, Connecticut. Immediately prior to his enlistment, he was associated with the Bristol Aero Co. in Bridgeport, CT. Active in civil aeronautics in civilian life, Lew Hughes was a licensed pilot before he enlisted in the AAF as an aviation cadet.
His father (76 Roydon Road), a professor of engineering at Yale, was active in the war program at the University. Professor Hughes took part in the First World War, seeing service in France as a Captain in the Engineers Corps.
Entering the Army Air Forces in July of 1942, Lew W. Hughes received training at Maxwell Field, Alabama; Harris Field, Cape Gerardeau, Missouri; Tyndall Field, Florida, and Santa Ana and Victorville, California. Coincidentally, he received the wings of a bombardier and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant on the Victorville Field on December 24, 1943. He then served at AAF basis in Connecticut prior to going abroad for combat duty in the summer of 1944.
2nd Lt. Hughes
He had been based in England with the 447th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 8th Air Force since August 1944. 2nd Lt. Hughes aided in September pounding German positions to assist the airborne invasion of Holland in September, 1944. The 447th Bombardment Group (Heavy) also dropped supplies to Free French forces during the summer of 1944. Turned to strategic targets in Germany in October 1944, placing emphasis on sources of oil production until mid-December. During the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944-January 1945, the group assaulted marshalling yards, railroad bridges, and communications centers in the combat zone. Then resumed operations against targets in Germany, attacking oil, transportation, communications, and other objectives until the war ended.
He had completed numerous raids over the European Continent in that time, and, according to his last letter, written on December 14, 1944, he stated that he had nearly completed the required number of missions, and expected to be home by the end of January 1945. He participated in the Normandy Campaign, Northern France Campaign, Rhineland Campaign, Ardennes-Alsace Campaign. His overseas exploits earned for him the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal and 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, and a Presidential Unit Citation.
On December 24, 1944, 2nd Lieutenant Lew W. Hughes, age 23, died in battle over Germany, while Flying a mission to bomb Babenhausen. He was serving as a bombardier on a B-17 Flying Fortress.