Born 24 October 1917 in Moline Illinois. His father taught him to fly before he was 12 years old. When he tried to enlist for pilot training in the American military before the attack on Pearl Harbor, he was rejected because he was married.
He joined the RCAF in February 1941, earning his Wings in November 1941. He served initially as an instructor in Canada but he transferred to the Marines after the US entered the war and the RCAF would let him go (date unclear). He was wounded in action twice.
Captain Donald Aldrich, Marine Pilot who shot down a Tojo, newest Jap fighter plane, over Rabaul, Feb. 9, to become the fifth Marine flyer to kill 20 enemy planes, was congratulated by his Commanding Officer, Major James J. Neefus, of Belle Harbor, N.J. after he was awarded the Purple Heart Medal at a South Pacific Base.
He was KiFA on 3 May 1947 while attempting a forced landing at Glenview Naval Air Station. His Corsair ran into soft dirt and he flipped over.
We honor you, Don Aldrich.
(#Repost @Aces of WWII)