Raydon Airfield Memorial Info Sign
Frederick H. Le Febre was born on July 17, 1919, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. After attending Calvin College in that city, he entered Aviation Cadet training in 1941 and was assigned to a Fighter Squadron upon graduation in 1942, flying P40 aircraft in various locations on the East Coast.
He was one of the original members of the 351st Squadron, 353 Fighter Group when it was formed at Norfolk, Virginia, which later moved to Millville, New Jersey. He started to fly P47 aircraft in the winter of 1942/43.
With the 351st Squadron, he went to England in June 1943, where he flew two combat tours totaling 119 missions from Fighter Stations at Metfield and Raydon, England during the period of June 1943 to February 1945. During that time, he became the Squadron Commander. He was credited with destroying three enemy aircraft in the air and numerous trains and military vehicles while on interdiction and ground support missions. He also participated in some of the first dive-bombing missions by P47s in Europe.
After the war, Col. Le Febre stayed in the Air Force. He transitioned from prop to jet fighters (P-8Os) in Germany during the summer of 1946. He flew a combat tour in F86 "Sabre" aircraft in Korea in 1952-53 and continued flying, primarily jet fighters until his Air Force retirement in 1970. During his military career, Col. Le Febre was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the Distinguished Flying Cross with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Air Medal with nine Oak Leaf Clusters along with various other awards.
Of the many fighter planes he flew, which in addition to the P47 included such planes as the P40, P51, P8O, T33, F86, F1O1, F102, and the Mach 2 F106, he says the sentimental favorite is the faithful old Jug.
Source of information and photo: http://p47pilots.com