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2nd Lt. Lloyd Herbert "Pete" Hughes, Jr.
(12 Jul 1921 - 1 Aug 1943)


Remembering Those Who Served

By Alan Boedeker

Photo caption: A Soldier places an American flag on the gravesite of 2nd Lt. Lloyd Hughes, a Kelly Field aviator, prior to the Memorial Day celebration at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio. Nearly 100,000 flags were placed on the graves in honor of those who have served the United States in the armed forces. For a feature story on Lieutenant Hughes, see Page 4.

Lt. Hughes: The history of Kelly Field aviator

By Alan Boedeker
37th Training Wing Public Affairs

Thousands of members of Lackland cross Hughes Avenue every day, many not knowing its name or who it’s named after.

Once a main artery of Lackland, the avenue is now dissected into a few blocks for traffic at each end, but one section is devoted and elevated for the “road less traveled,” and serves as a route for the Airman’s Run.

Hughes Avenue is named after 2nd Lt. Lloyd Herbert “Pete” Hughes Jr., who was born in Alexandria, La, but moved to Texas in 1939.

Lieutenant Hughes graduated from Refugio High School in Refugio, 117 miles southeast of San Antonio.

After attending Del Mar College and briefly attending Texas A&M University, Lieutenant Hughes enlisted in the Army Air Forces as a private in San Antonio.

Because of his college credits, he was appointed as an aviation cadet on the same day and entered the Air Corps Replacement Training Center at Kelly Field.

Lieutenant Hughes was promoted to the rank of second lieutenant on Nov. 10, 1942, after becoming a rated pilot.

He was immediately called to active duty with the Army Air Forces with the 564th Bombardment Squadron.

Lieutenant Hughes was stationed at Lowry Army Air Base in May 1943 and was assigned to a B-24 heavy bomber with the aircraft number 42-40753 J; the aircrew later renamed it the “Ole Kickapoo.”

During a flying mission on Aug. 1, 1943, Lieutenant Hughes and crew engaged in what was their fifth and last bombing mission in the Ploesti Oil Fields of Romania, an extreme low-level bombing mission over the Campina oil refinery, labeled the “Red Target.”

Knowing there was no way to save his aircraft, the lieutenant held his bomber’s course long enough to preserve the integrity of the formation and to drop his bombs.

After successfully bombing the objective, his aircraft emerged from the conflagration with the left wing aflame.

Only then did he attempt a forced landing, but because of the advanced stage of the fire enveloping his aircraft the plane crashed and was consumed.

On April 18, 1944, Lt. Gen. Barton Kyle Yount presented Lieutenant Hughes’ widow, Hazel Dean Ewing Hughes, with the Medal of Honor.
 

In 2006, Lieutenant Hughes’ Medal of Honor was donated to the Refugio County Museum. It now is on permanent display at the Corps of Cadets Center at Texas A&M University.

For more information on Lieutenant Hughes, go to http://www.rajordan.com/pete/.


Source: Personal papers. Newspaper article from Pages 1 and 4 of the Lackland Talespinner, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, USA, dated 30 May 2008

Created: July 21, 2008

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