North High School Wall of Honor
John Otis Wright
Class of June, 1938
John Otis Wright
Research done by Rick Nehrling, class of 1963 and Claradell Shedd, class of 1953.
John Otis Wright
Otis was a member of North High's June, 1938 class.

In the military, Otis's next of kin is listed as Mr. John William Wright, at 1122 Ravina Drive, Des Moines, IA. , Iowa. Otis's service number was 37662665.
John Otis Wright
Year x Rank/Event x Status
June, 1938 x 1122 Ravina Drive, Des Moines, IA x Graduated from North High School. Lived at 1122 Ravina Drive in the Oak Park area of Des Moines.
date x Employment/
x Des Moines, IA?
March 1, 1943 x Enlisted
US Army
x Enlisted at Camp Dodge, Iowa. Army Airways Communication System; 132nd Squadron
date x US Army x Where and when?
June 2, 1944 x US Army x Departed United States
April 20, 1946 x US Army x Returned to United States
April 27, 1946 x US Army x Discharged. Where?
1949 x 4002 10th Street x Completed WWII Bonus paperwork. Lived at 4002 10th Street in the Oak Park area.
date x Employment x Where and when?
date x Buried x Where?
132nd Squadron, Iowa Air National Guard
The 132d Wing (132d WG) is a United States Air Force unit assigned to the Iowa Air National Guard and located at Des Moines Air National Guard Base, Iowa. The 132nd's World War II predecessor unit, the 365th Fighter Group was a IX Fighter Command unit, serving in the European Theater of Operations. The 365th, known as the "Hell Hawks", was one of the most successful P-47 Thunderbolt fighter groups of the Ninth Air Force when it came to air combat. The 365th was awarded two Distinguished Unit Citations; Order of the Day, Belgium Army; Belgium Fourragère, and the Belgium Croix de Guerre. The 365th Fighter Group flew its last mission on 8 May 1945.

Constituted as 365th Fighter Group on 27 April 1943. Activated on 15 May 1943. Trained with P-47's. Moved to RAF Gosfield England in December 1943. Assigned to Ninth Air Force. It was several weeks before the 365th received a full complement of 75 P-47D Thunderbolts and mid-February 1944 before they were placed on operational status. Their first mission. flown on 22 February, was a bomber support sweep of short duration over enemy-held territory.

Early missions were flown in support of Eighth Air Force B-17 and B-24 bomber operations and on one of these on 2 March, the 365th had its first encounter with enemy fighters in the Bastogne area resulting in the loss of one Thunderbolt and claims of six of the enemy shot down. Oberstleutnant Egon Mayer. one of the most successful Luftwaffe aces flying in the West with 102 victories, fell in this battle.

On 5 March, with only nine missions to its credit the group moved south to RAF Beaulieu in Hampshire. The group was stood down three days after arrival so that it could undertake a two-week intensive course in ground attack and fighter-bombing. After training, the 365th flew dive-bombing missions to attack such targets as bridges, aerodromes, rail facilities, gun positions, and V-weapon sites prior to the invasion of the Continent.

On D-Day, its duties were attacking gun emplacements and communications facilities behind the bridgehead. Two P-47s were lost. On the following day when 12 separate squadron-sized missions were flown five aircraft failed to return.An unusual accident occurred on 9 June when two P-47s being delivered to Beaulieu by ferry pilots landed on different runways at the same time and collided at the runway intersection with one pilot being killed.

The 365th was one of the most successful P-47 groups of the Ninth Air Force when it came to air combat, and a total of 29 enemy aircraft were credited as shot down during the four months the group operated from Beaulieu. On 25 June, the 365th had one of its best days when eight enemy fighter-bombers were destroyed. On 2 July, Lieutenant Colonel Robert L. Coffey, Jr., the Air Executive, became the Ninth Air Force's third Thunderbolt ace. As with other P-47 groups, losses were modest until ground attack became a regular task in June. All told, 24 P-47s were 'missing in action' during their stay at Beaulieu.

The 365th Group began its move to the Continent on 21 June, the first squadron taking up residence at Azeville, France (A-71) on 26 June, the last moving out of Beaulieu on 28 June and the rear party on 2 July providing tactical air support in support of U.S. First Army. On the continent, the group moved rapidly from one airfield to another, eventually winding up near Fritzlar, Germany (Y-86) on VE-Day.
Photop of John Otis Wright
John Otis Wright
Army Airways Communication System; 132nd Squadron
United States Army

US Army Seal

Iowa National Guard

Obtain photo in uniform 132nd Fighter Wing, Iowa National Guard

Iowa National Guard

Get list of medals: WWII Victory Medal

(Get correct list of medals) Victory Medal
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 Index for all years: John Otis Wright's 1938 class page:
Living in CA? 06/22/17
Music: "Over There" by Enrico Caruso
Home | Back/allyears | WWI | WWII | Korea | Vietnam | Afghanistan/Iraq | Lyrics | Refs/Awards | Contact

©2018-csheddgraphics All rights reserved.
All images and content are © copyright of their respective copyright owners.