North High School Wall of Honor
Gene Elston Eittreim
Class of June, 1942
Gene Elston Eittreim
Research done by Claradell Shedd, class of 1953. PAGE IN PROGRESS. Need military pictures and copy of DD214 from family to establish a more complete bio page.
Gene Elston Eittreim
Gene graduated from North High in June, 1942. At the time, his next of kin was Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Eittreim, 737 Grandview Avenue, Des Moines, IA.. His service number is 37662063.
Gene Elston Eittreim
Year   Rank   Status
1940 x Census x Lived at 737 Grandview Avenue, Des Moines, IA
June, 1942   Graduated   Graduated from North High, Des Moines, IA
1943 x Student/Employed? x Where? When?
February 25, 1943   US Army Air Corps/
  Enlisted at Camp Dodge Herrold, IA
date x US Army Air Corps x Basic training where?
date x US Army Air Corps x Serving in 31st Bombardment Squadron, 13th Air Force; 5th Group
March 19, 1944 x US Army Air Corps x Left United States
date x US Army Air Corps x Served in South Pacific Theater
December 18, 1945 x US Army Air Corps x Returned to United States
December 30, 1945 x US Army Air Corps x Discharged
1947 x x Graduated from Grandview College
date x Family x Married Darlene Blisten
date x Employment x Holmes Oldsmobile
date x Family x Married Marilyn Stover
date x Retirement x Living in Panora, IA
December 23, 2015 x Deceased x Kavanaugh House/Hospice, Des Moines, IA
January 9, 2016 x Burial x Highland Memorial Gardens, Des Moines, IA
photo photo
caption caption
Gene's photos
13th Air Force
Thirteenth Air Force began operations in November 1942 as an organization composed of many widely separated Seventh Air Force and independent units scattered in the South Central Pacific during the Solomon Islands campaign.

Initially charged with taking a defensive stand against advancing enemy forces, Thirteenth Air Force later took the offensive flying a variety of aircraft, including the B-17 Flying Fortress, B-24 Liberator, B-25 Mitchell, B-26 Marauder, P-38 Lightning, P-39 Airacobra, P-40 Warhawk, P-61 Black Widow, C-46 Commando, C-47 Skytrain, and L-5 Sentinel.

It was Thirteenth Air Force P-38Gs of the 339th Fighter Squadron of the 347th Fighter Group which, on 18 April 1943, flew the mission which resulted in the death of Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto.

From 1942–1945, Thirteenth Air Force staged out of tropical jungles on more than 40 remote islands including the Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign; Mariana and Palau Islands campaign and the Philippines campaign (1944–45), thus earning the nickname, "The Jungle Air Force." The command's units participated in a total of five different operation areas and 13 campaigns.

Thirteenth Air Force along with Fifth Air Force in Australia and Seventh Air Force in Hawaii were assigned to the newly created United States Far East Air Forces (FEAF) on 3 August 1944. FEAF was subordinate to the U.S. Army Forces Far East and served as the headquarters of Allied Air Forces Southwest Pacific Area. By 1945, three numbered air forces—5th, 7th and 13th—were supporting operations in the Pacific. FEAF was the functional equivalent in the Pacific of the United States Strategic Air Forces (USSTAF) in the European Theater of Operations.

After hostilities ended in 1945, Thirteenth Air Force established its headquarters at Clark Field, Philippines, in January 1946. In May of that year, it moved to Fort William McKinley, Luzon. By August 1947, 13AF returned to Clark Field. In December 1948, the unit moved to Kadena, Okinawa, where it remained for only a few months before returning to Clark in May 1949.

5th Bombardment Group (1943–46) (B-17, B-24)
(Deployed to Espiritu Santo in November 1942, reassigned from Seventh Air Force in January 1943).

31st Bombardment Squadron
Missions began to be flown in the Southwest Pacific Theater starting in June 1944 as the Japanese began their long retreat back to their Home Islands. The 31st attacked enemy bases on Yap and in the Truk and Palau Islands, Jun–Aug 1944, preparatory to the invasion of Peleliu and the return to the Philippines at Leyte. Crews flew missions to the Netherlands East Indies on 30 September 1944, earning another DUC for an attack—conducted through heavy flak and fighter defenses—on oil installations at Balikpapan, Borneo.

US Army Seal

US Army Air Corps

Gene Elston Eittreim
US Army Air Corps
31st Bombardment Squadron
5th Group
13th Air Force

Gene Elston Eittreim

Needed photo (portrait in uniform) of Gene

13th Air Force

31st Bombardment Squadron

Appropriate medals coming: Distinguished Flying Cross
The comprehensive list of names from North High's 1893-2018 graduation classes are from Claradell Shedd's North Des Moines High School website. The names of all North High School graduates can be found online at North Des Moines High School website. The names of North High School graduates can be found online at: Gene Elston Eittreim's class page can be viewed at
Gene Elston Eittreim
01/06/16. Died 12/23/15 in Des Moines, IA
Music: "Wind Beneath My Wings"
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