[Edwin L. Heller oral history interview (Part 1 of 2)]
In this two-part oral history, fighter ace Edwin L. Heller discusses his military service with the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. In part one, he describes his experiences as a fighter pilot, including his time in Europe with the 486th Fighter Squadron of the 352nd Fighter Group. Special focus on a bomber escort mission to Germany on May 8, 1944 in which Heller scored two aerial victories and afterwards managed it back to England in a damaged North American P-51 Mustang.
Oral History Item Type Metadata
Edwin L. Heller was born on December 5, 1918 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He joined the United States Army Air Forces in 1942 and graduated from flight school the following year. Deployed to the European Theater of Operations, Heller served with the 486th Fighter Squadron of the 352nd Fighter Group, flying missions over Germany, Poland, and other areas of mainland Europe. He remained in the military after World War II and went on to command the 16th Fighter Squadron during the Korean War. During that conflict, he was shot down over China and spent several years as a prisoner of war. Released in 1953, Heller then served in a number of command positions with the Air Defense Command, Air Training Command, and Tactical Air Command. He retired at the rank of lieutenant colonel in 1967 and passed away in 2004.