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  #1  
Old 28th February 2020, 03:09
esc201faem esc201faem is offline
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Info on 1st Lt. William L. Kester 44th FS 18th FG

Hello
going over on some information on USAAF pilots that helped train the 201st Mexican fighter Squadron, I am a bit confused on one particular pilot:

1st Lt. William L. Kester who served in the 44th fighter Squadron 18th Fighter Group circa 1943 based on Olynyk books he was credited with one kill and half a kill.

he returned to the USA and in 1944 he was a P-47D Thunderbolt instructor pilot with the 265th AAFBU fighter training squadron ,he helped train the Mexican pilots at Pocatello AAFB and later at Majors Field Greenville Texas.

He was assigned to the group of USAAF personnel that accompanied the 201st in the P.I. arriving in May 1945. He was assigned to help the operations officer Capt. Pablo L. Rivas Martinez who later went Missing on the transportation flight .

Now what confuses me is the entry in Olynyk Victory List No.3 USAAF SWPA
WWII

he list Kester on 04.1945 1100-1122 0.333 Jack damaged with the 45th FS,15th FG 7th AF ? is this the same person or another Kester?

any help would be appreciated to sort this out.
and if anybody has a picture of him and any additional information about him would be most welcomed.

thx
Santiago
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Old 28th February 2020, 05:47
Frank Olynyk Frank Olynyk is offline
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Re: Info on 1st Lt. William L. Kester 44th FS 18th FG

Santiago,

I have just reviewed my 45th FS records. The Kester of the 45th FS is John E Kester, who joined the 45th in December 1944 as a 2nd Lt. He has a shared damaged claim on April 19, 1945, and a destroyed claim on July 19, 1945. I do not have a service number for him, so I do not know if this is the same person as 2nd Lt John Edwin Kester of the 338th FS, 55th FG who claimed an FW 190 on November 2, 1944. I would tend to doubt it.

Enjoy!

Frank.
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Old 28th February 2020, 10:22
Leendert Leendert is offline
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Re: Info on 1st Lt. William L. Kester 44th FS 18th FG

Lt John E. Kester of 55th FG was KIA on 14 Jan 1945 over Germany, so Santiago's Lt Kester another person indeed.


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Leendert
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Old 28th February 2020, 10:32
Leendert Leendert is offline
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Re: Info on 1st Lt. William L. Kester 44th FS 18th FG

May be identified as (Capt) John Edwin Kester (1922-1972), USAF, WWII and Korea, from Maryland. See findagrave.com.


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Leendert
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Old 28th February 2020, 14:17
Leendert Leendert is offline
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Re: Info on 1st Lt. William L. Kester 44th FS 18th FG

Santiago,
Lt William L. Kester is mentioned in the San Antonio Light newspaper of Aug. 14, 1945.
He was from San Antonio, TX, and spoke Spanish fluently.


See https://newspaperarchive.com/san-ant...-14-1945-p-10/ and perhaps use OCR to read it in text form.



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Leendert
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Old 28th February 2020, 21:04
esc201faem esc201faem is offline
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Re: Info on 1st Lt. William L. Kester 44th FS 18th FG

Thank you Guys
for solving this issue.
I have a number of american pilots that flew with the Mexican squadron which i dont have to much info on them. that will be a future posting

thx again
Santiago
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Old 18th May 2020, 07:16
JACK COOK JACK COOK is offline
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Re: Info on 1st Lt. William L. Kester 44th FS 18th FG

Correct all are different people. Bill Kester flew with the 68th FS transferring to the 44th FS when they were pulled out to be reequipped with P-39s. I have a photo of Kester but my photobucket account is long gone.
Jack Cook-historian
44th FS Assoc.
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Old 19th May 2020, 16:00
Edward Edward is offline
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Re: Info on 1st Lt. William L. Kester 44th FS 18th FG

Vampire Squadron!: A History of the 44th Fighter Squadron in World War II, 1941-1945
(Robinson Typographics - 1985)
by William H Starke
207 pages - hardback

One of the few excellent histories about the pilots of the 13th Fighter Command. The author Starke was a 44th Squadron veteran.

Kester is mentioned on pages 66, 68 & 90.

Note: there is a lesser quality paperback reproduction (1999) of this rare book which utilizes scanned pages of the original.
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