Lieutenant John (Jack) Lewis Wirth:
Navy Ace with 14 Aerial Victories to his credit.
Born in North Vernon, Indiana in 1917.
Entered the U.S. Navy in 1934, first serving aboard the USS Ranger (CV-4) as a Machinist's Mate. He became a Naval aviator after completing his flight training on March 21, 1942 and received his commission as an Ensign on June 15, 1942.
His first assignment after receiving his wings was with Patrol Squadron 38 (VP-38) which lasted from May until September 1942 where he flew PB4Y in submarine patrols. In November 1942 he was transferred to Patrol Wing 11 (later renamed to Fleet Air Wing 11) and took part in flying submarine search patrols.
On May 1, 1943 Lt. (jg) Wirth was attached to the newly formed Fighter Squadron 31 (VF-31) under the command of Lt. Cmd. Robert Winston at NAS Atlantic City New Jersey.
Lt. (jg) Wirth along with the other members of VF-31 were assigned to the USS Cabot flying the Grumman F6F-3 Hellcat fighter. He served with VF-31 onboard the USS Cabot from September 1943 until October 1944. During the time that USS Cabot was engaged in hostilities from January 1944 through September 1944 Lt. (jg) Wirth became a Naval Ace with 14 confirmed aerial victories to his credit.
Engagements flown in which Lieutenant Wirth shot down enemy aircraft:
Medals Awarded to Lieutenant Wirth while serving with VF-31
VF-31 was rotated out of combat in October 1944 and the pilots of VF-31 returned to the United States. Lt. Wirth was stationed at San Diego NAS (Naval Air Station) in November of 1944. Lt Jack Wirth died in a plane crash outside of San Diego near the town of Alpine California on April 13, 1945.
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