Hamilton County


Lt. Milden Mathre





Second Lt. Milden Mathre, of this city, a P-38 fighter pilot, recently shot down the 500th Jap plane credited to his fighter group, according to an Associated Press dispatch from Leyte air base in the Philippines.

Lieutenant Mathre, whose wife lives at Cedar Falls, is a member of the 49th fighter group, the first army air unit to fight in the southwest Pacific.

The 500-plane mark was a new record for fighter groups but did not stand for long since the same contingent of airmen have now added 30 more planes to their credit.

Gen. Douglas Mac Arthur has termed the 49th “unsurpassed in the air."

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - Nov. 4, 1944

Milden Mathre was born Dec. 13, 1920 to Arnold Elmer and Fenette Fortuna Mathre. He died July 30, 1972 and is buried at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, San Antonio, TX.

Major Mathre served with the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II as a P-38 pilot with the 49th fighter group of the 5th Air Force. He was awarded the air medal with three clusters and the distinguished flying cross with one cluster; the southwest Pacific ribbon with three stars; and the Philippine liberation ribbon with one star.

His Obituary: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - July 31, 1972


Major Milden E. Mathre, 51, retired, a former resident of Webster City, died Sunday at Corpus Christi, Texas where funeral arrangements are pending.

He was born Dec. 13, 1920 in Webster City, the son of Mrs. Arthur D. Ralf of Des Moines and Arnold E. Mathre of Clear Lake Heights, Calif., and received his education in the Webster City schools, being graduated in 1939.

He served for 20 years in the U.S. Air Force, serving as a P-38 pilot in the Pacific war theater, completing 189 combat missions, with 326 combat hours, during a period from December, 1943 to July, 1945. From Dec, 28, 1948 to December, 1951, he served in Okinawa and Japan and participated in combat operations during the Korean war. He also served overseas on Guam from Aug. 21, 1958 to April, 1960, retiring from the service in December, 1964.

He is survived by his wife, the former Elva Ostrander of Cedar Falls; three children, Robert of Joplin, Mo; Richard of California and Marilyn of Dallas, Texas. The family resides at 1318 Ormond, Corpus Christi, Texas, 78415.

His mother, Mrs. Arthur D. Ralf, left for Corpus Christi to attend the services.

He was a grandson of the late Mrs. Luella E. Fassett of this city.

Source: ancestry.com