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Fred was born on January 19, 1922. His siblings included Frank, Mildred, Joanne, and my father, Paul. Fred was 5 years older than my father, but the two were very close. However, no one remains of that generation in my family, so much of the story is lost. I have a scrapbook with the title "Fred + Paul Distelzweig Incorporated Aviation Materials" that have newspaper clippings of historical aviation flights, accidents, and general occurrances. One of the earliest entries dates to 1936. This love of flight grew within both boys throughout their youth and teen days. Some time after his 18th birthday, in 1940, Fred enlisted in the Army Air Corps.
As can best be determined, Fred progressed through boot camp, and flight school, eventually becoming a Lockheed P-38 fighter pilot in the US Army Air Forces, 459th Fighter Squadron, 80th Fighter Group, ultimately stationed at Chittigong, Burma.
Shores, Christopher. Air War for Burma: The Allied Air Forces Fight Back in South-East Asia, 1942-1945, London: Grub Street, 2005
"Sunday, 9 April 1944
Bomb-carrying P-38s of the 459th Squadron were off again, bombing a rail junction at Yuaratung. They then strafed the 180 feet paddle steamer Kaduma west of Sagaing. This was the last Burmese paddle steamer remaining, and was left ablaze. A railyard was then attacked, but at this point Lt Fred S. Distelzweig's Lightning pulled up with the centre section of the horizontal stabilizer torn away. It was seen to shoot up to 800 feet, slow roll and crash in flames, blowing up."