Warren Lewis was born on 24 December 1919 in Superior, Iowa but a big day in his life was when he was 7 or 8 years old in Superior, Iowa. That was when a barnstormer came to town and gave the locals rides in his biplane. Warren had no money but after watching all day, he became a fan of the popular pulp magazines about flying heros. He was aware that he needed some college to become a pilot and after 2 years of college at the University of Iowa, an Army Air Force traveling crew came through Iowa City with a B-17. Warren took all the tests and at the end, when a Lieutenant recruiter found out it would be a few months before Warren was the required 20 to join up, he started chewing out Warren for wasting his time. The senior officer of the group came up and asked what was going on and when he found out what the Lieutenant was doing to the potential recruit, he started chewing out the Lieutenant.
Warren got into pilot training and was doing well until one day, an aircraft cut him out of the pattern. He reacted like any potential fighter pilot, he cut the aircraft out of the pattern on a later leg. Unfortunately, the airplane was flown by an instructor nicknamed "washout Olsen." Sooo, when Warren "washed out" of pilot training he went to L.A. and worked in the Lockheed parts department plotting his re-entry into military flying. He joined the Civilian Pilot Training program and flew Stearmans and Wacos out in the middle of nowhere at Mines Field (later to be known as L.A. International Airport). That was when he heard the details of how to wangle his way into the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) where he flew Fairy Battles in Manitoba. After Pearl Harbor, the U.S. Army Air Forces sent a special train to Canada and reprocessed all the RCAF pilots into the U.S.A.A.F. on the train. Warren ended up as an instructor in AT-6s at Lake Charles, LA where he volunteered to go to the Pacific.
He flew P-39s and P-40s out of Australia when he first got there and then transferred to the new P-38. Warren likes to tell of how the Japanese Zero pilots used to climb vertically to escape P-39s and 40s on their tail. The Japanese were slow to realize that when they did that with a P-38 on their tail, the P-38 could stay with them until the Zero stalled out at the top of the climb, at which point the P-38 pilots would shoot them down. This was one of the ways he became an ace with 7 aerial victories.
Warren continued his career in the military by flying P-38Ls in Italy before the end of the war and then assumed various post war assignments culminating in Warren commanding the 31st Fighter Wing in Vietnam in 1966 where he flew 352 missions in the F-100. He retired from the Air Force in 1971 with 27 Air Medals, 3 Distinguished Flying Crosses, and two Legions of Merit. Warren was honored at the Gathering of Memories Airshow in San Marcos, TX on September 25 & 26, 1999.