Authur Fiedler

Arthur Fiedler was born in Oak Park, Illinois in August 1923. In April 1942, he enlisted in the US Army Air Corps as an Aviation Cadet. His primary training was at Avon Park, Florida; basic was at Macon, Georgia; and advanced was at Marianna, Florida. He received his commission and his wings in July 1943.

Fiedler was originally assigned as a P-47 instructor at Dover, Delaware, was sent overseas in April 1943 and joined the 317th Fighter Squadron of the 325th Fighter Group of Lesina, Italy. There Fiedler checked out the P-51C and began flying missions in June of 1943. He claimed a probable on June 24th and four days later bounced two ME-109s.

Fiedler took pictures of the burning wreckage to confirm his victory. As he started to his climb to altitude, he was startled by another ME-109 crossing directly in front of him. Fiedler racked into a vertical bank and scored several hits before his guns jammed. He suddenly found himself sliding into formation with the ME-109. He knew if he turned away he would be a good target so he decided to fire his .45 automatic at his enemy even though he was only 40 feet away! As Fiedler drew his gun, the German bailed out . He took pictures of this also to confirm his victory. In July he downed two more ME-109s and a FW-190.

More aerial victories would come in September on a mission to Greece, where Fiedler destroyed a JU-52 and, in October, while strafing near Budapest, he downed an He-111. His 8th and final victory was in January 1945 when his group of four intercepted 40 FW-190s attacking B-17s near Regensburg. Fiedler flew a total of 66 combat missions in World War II.

After World War II, Fiedler attended the University of Illinois, where he earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1950. That October, he was recalled to service in the Korean War and stayed in the Air Force over the next 25 years. Between 1966 and 1970, Fiedler flew more than 1000 C-130 sorties in Vietnam. He retired in 1975 as a Colonel.

Fiedler has been awarded the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the Air Medal with 21 Oak Leaf Clusters, the Yugoslavian Partisan Star and numerous other decorations and awards.

He and his family now live in Southern California, where he enjoys many hobbies and the great weather.