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~SOLD~LUMA James Forrest

Luma James Forrest RCAF 5 victories 418Sq

First Lieutenant James F. Luma

By Sir Ernie Hamilton Boyette

James was born on August 27th 1922 in Helena, Montana. He went to the local collage in Helena, Carrol Collage until the war effort became to strong for James. He tried to join the Army Air Corp and was turned down because he was only 18 years old. He could have been a member of a flight crew but he wanted to the pilot. Once turned down James did what many American men did, they went to Canada. Here James enlisted in the R.C.A.F. and trained in both Vancouver and Alberta. After his training he was sent to England. They started flying simple bi-wing wood and canvas to the more powerful and advanced T-6 Texans. His first twin engine training was in the Cessna "Bamboo bomber", or "Crane." It took several years before Luma saw combat because of the different positions he was placed in. He served thousands of hours as a trainer in Canada.

During this time the United States had entered the war and was absorbing all the American pilots who were fighting for England. Since there were no American squadrons in England and since James was trained in the twin-engine Mosquito he was assigned to the 418th night-fighter-bomber squadron where James was to fly the Mosquito into combat. He was introduced to the Mosquito for the first time when he was assigned to the 418th.

On the mission James scored his first aerial victory, his radar observer was Flight Lieutenant A. J. Eckert. On the evening of January 21st and 22nd 1944 while flying southwest of Wunstorf Air Field when they came upon a Messerschmitt 210 or 410 twin engine fighter that was also flying nocturnal sorties looking for English bombers. James found the German first.

On February 13th James came up on a large German bomber flying a night mission south of Bordeaux, France. In the blinding flash of guns the bomber was identified as a Heinkel He-177. On March 6th James shot down an Fw-190 engaged in "Wild Bore" hunting of English bombers over Pau, France. James became an official ace on March 21st when he shot down two more enemy aircraft. At sun down over Luxeuil Air Field James dispatched two Junkers Ju-52 transports.

His first tour ended and James returned to duty after taking a leave back in the States. He was assigned to a Mosquito squadron of the U.S. Air Corp where he served until the end of the war. The unit was stationed at Watton, England. Weather recon flights was boring but necessary for up coming bomber flights. This however kept Luma out of the fight for the rest of the war. But he was still flying the Mosquito.

After the war James re-entered collage and re-enlisted back into the new U.S. Air Force after it became a separate service. After two years in the new Air Force James left for service in numerous international airlines. In 1980 when James finally retired he had logged over ten thousand hours of flight time.

His decorations included the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters and the British Distinguished Flying Cross. He was credited with five confirmed aerial victories. James is, an American Mosquito Ace

Signed 5 x 3 card with computer generated photo printed on card







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