McKeon, Joseph Thomas, Lt Col

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Lieutenant Colonel
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
Last AFSC Group
Primary Unit
1944-1945, AAF MOS 1055, POW Germany
Service Years
1941 - 1963
Foreign Language(s)
Officer Collar Insignia
Lieutenant Colonel

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

1065 kb

Home State
New York
New York
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSgt Robert Bruce McClelland, Jr. to remember McKeon, Joseph Thomas, Lt Col USAF(Ret).

If you knew or served with this Airman and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
New York City, NY
Last Address
Oceanside, California

Date of Passing
Feb 01, 2002
Location of Interment
Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery - San Diego, California
Wall/Plot Coordinates

 Official Badges 

Air Force Commander Air Force Retired AAFTTC Instructor

 Unofficial Badges 

Pearl Harbor Memorial Medallion Cold War Medal Air Ace American Fighter Aces Congressional Gold Medal

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
American Fighter Aces Association
  2016, American Fighter Aces Association1

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
He destroyed 5 enemy aircraft in aerial combat in the Pacific Theater and then went to Europe and shot down 1 German aircraft before he was himself shot down and held as a POW.

Synopsis of his Silver Star citation:
Awarded for actions during World War II
(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: First Lieutenant (Air Corps) Joseph T. McKeon, United States Army Air Forces, was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force while serving as a Pilot with the 433d Fighter Squadron, 475th Fighter Group, FIFTH Air Force during World War II.

General Orders: Headquarters, V Fighter Command, General Orders No. 5 (1943)

Action Date: World War II

Service: Army Air Forces

Rank: First Lieutenant

Company: 433d Fighter Squadron

Regiment: 475th Fighter Group

Division: 5th Air Force

Other Comments:
 Photo Album   (More...

  1944-1944, AAF MOS 1055, 20th Fighter Group

From Month/Year
July / 1944
To Month/Year
October / 1944
20th Fighter Group Unit Page
AAF MOS 1055-Pilot, Single-Engine Fighter
RAF Kings Cliffe, Northamptonshire, England
United Kingdom
 20th Fighter Group Details

20th Fighter Group

The 20th Fighter Group

The Loco Busters

Kingscliffe 26 August 1943 to 11 October 1945
Station Callsign:
Group Callsign:
Denton to 22 April '44 then:
Walnut (A Group)
Oatmeal (B Group)
Katie (C Group)

Assigned 8th AAF: 25 Aug 1943

Wing/Command Assignment

VIII FC 25 Aug 1943
VIII FC, 67 FW 6 Oct 1943
1 BD, 67 FW 15 Sep 1944
1 AD, 67 FW 1 Jan 1945
Combat Aircraft:

P-38H, P-38J 28 Dec 1943 to 21 Jul 1944
P-51C, P-51D from 20 Jul 1944
P-51K Dec 1944


KINGS CLIFFE 26 Aug 1943 to 11 Oct 1945

Group COs

Col Barton M. Russell 20 Aug 1943 to 2 Mar 1944
Lt. Col Mark E. Hubbard 2 Mar 1944 to 18 Mar 1944
Lt. Col Harold J. Rau 20 Mar 1944 to 25 Jun 1944
Lt. Col. Cy Wilson 25 Jun 1944 to 27 Aug 1944
Col. Harold J. Rau 27 Aug 1944 to 18 Dec 1944
Col. Robert P. Montgomery 18 Dec 1944 to 3 Oct 1945
Lt. Col. William E. Becker Sep 1945 to Nov 1945

First Mission: 28 Dec 1943
Last Mission: 25 Apr 1945
Total missions: 312
Aircraft MIA: 132

Claims: Air 212 Ground 237.
Major Awards:

Distinguished Unit Citation: 8 April 1944 for sweep over Germany

Unit Claims to Fame

Oldest USAAF group to be assigned to the 8th AF for extended period of time.
Best P-51 maintenance record of any 8th AF group for latter months of the war.
Early History:

Though the roots of the Squadrons went back to World War I, The group was activated on the 15th of November 1930 at Mather field, California as the 20th Pursuit Group then moved to Barksdale Field La. late in 1932 and based there unit late in 1939. Equipped successively with P-12, P-26s and P-36 aircraft. The unit moved back to California in November 1939 and equipped with P-39 and later with P-40s. The unit then moved to North Carolina in 1942 and then to Paine Field, Washington, later that year. It served as a training ground for new groups forming rapidly. Established at March Field, California in January 1943 and equipped with P-38s. It also served as part of the air defense structure on the west coast before shipping out to England. First scheduled for service with the 8th Air Force in January 1942 but not ordered overseas until August 1943. The unit then departed March Field on the 11th August 1943 and sailed on the Queen Elizabeth on the 20 August 1943, arriving in Clyde on the 25th of August 1943. Although assigned to bomber escort duties, the 20th also took on fighter-bomber roles beginning in March of 1944. After this time activities were almost evenly divided between the two types of missions. The many successful attacks on rail transportation by the Group gave a rise to its nick-name: "The Loco Busters".

Subsequent History:

After the war the group gradually ran down, many personnel were transferred and the aircraft flown to depots for disposal. Remainder in the United Kingdom until October 1945. Then the remainder of the unit sailed on the Queen Mary from Southhampton on the 11th October 1945 to New York arriving on the 16th of October 1945. The unit was again activated in July 1946 with P-51s and later with F-84s. The group than moved to Wethers field in the United Kingdom in 1952 and converted to F-100s.

Capt. Ted E Slanker. Portland, OR. 77th Fighter Squadron. P-51D 44-14824 LC-P "The Butcher Boy".

Capt. Melbourne G Ingebrigsten. Portland, OR. 79th Fighter Squadron. P-51D 44-15752 MC-A "Miss U Louise". Crew seen in photo are Sgt. Russell, Sgt. Harry Shuler and crew chief S/Sgt. Joe Taylor.

P-38J "Jean"
Unit: 55th FS, 20th FG, 8th AF, USAAF
Serial: KI-R

Lt. Robert E Miles. Fort Worth, TX. 55th Fighter Squadron. P-38H believed to be 42-67081 KI-K "Pistol Packin Mama".

Lt. Robert H King. Wilmington, NC. 77th Fighter Squadron. P-51D 44-13687 LC-B "Dizzy Rebel"

Lt. David F McCallister. Upper Darby, PA. 77th Fighter Squadron. P-51D 44-13670 LC-I "Cindee Lind".

Lt. Joseph A Peterburs. Wawautoso, WI. 55th Fighter Squadron. P-51D 44-15078 KI-B "Josephine".

Lt. Arthur W Heiden. Burton, NE. 79th Fighter Squadron. P-38J 42-104086 MC-H "Lucky Lady". This a/c was previously MC-F "Strictly Stella's Baby" of Maj. Rufus C Franklin, Fresno, CA., and reassigned to Art when Maj. Franklin rotated home.

Lt. John B Lee. Sealston, VA. 79th Fighter Squadron. P-51D 44-15198 MC-L_ "E.K. and Jay Bee/Suzanne"(L) "Geronimo" (R).

Lt. Edward Pogue. 79th Fighter Squadron. P-51D 44-13535 MC-R_ “Chattanooga Choo Choo”.




Combat - Fighter Units
Parent Unit
Fighter Units
Created/Owned By
Not Specified

Last Updated: Dec 10, 2019
My Photos For This Unit
No Available Photos
8 Members Also There at Same Time
20th Fighter Group

Fiebelkorn, Ernest Charles, Maj, (1942-1950) A23 AAF MOS 1055 Captain
Ilfrey, Jack Milton, Maj, (1941-1945) A23 AAF MOS 1055 Captain
Morris, James Madison, Lt Col, (1942-1969) A23 AAF MOS 1056 Captain
Anderson, Harry M., 1st Lt, (1943-1944) A33 AAF MOS 770 Second Lieutenant
Graham, Lindol French, Capt, (1941-1944) A23 Captain
Nichols, Merle Bryce, Col, (1942-1976) Major
Cole, Charles Harold, Lt Col, (1938-1966) Captain
Quinn, Russell Gerald, 1st Lt, (1942-1944) First Lieutenant

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