Edouard Jacques (1921-2013) was born in West Warwick, graduated from West Warwick High School and
joined the National Guard in 1940 at the age of 19. In 1943 he became an Aviation Cadet and trained as a B-24 bombardier, earning his wings in Lincoln, NE in 1944. He married the love of his life, Marie Rose Defosse, in Nebraska shortly thereafter.
Ed and his crew were assigned to the 752nd Squadron of the 458th Bomb Group, flying out of Norwich, England. After flying twelve missions he requested a transfer to a lead crew. Ed flew missions to most major targets, including Cologne, Metz, Coblenz, Hamburg and Berlin. His first mission as a lead bombardier was on Christmas Day, 1944 and he also flew the last missions flown by the 8th Air Force.
On April 25, 1945, he flew his 30th and final mission to Bad Reichenhall, a town a few miles from Berchtesgaden. He earned a Distinguished Flying Cross as lead bombardier on a mission to Leiphein, Germany on March 19, 1945. He also earned the Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters.
After Germanyʼs surrender, LT Jacques volunteered to continue combat flying over Japan. He went on a thirty-day furlough to be with Marie before going to the Pacific, and during that time the war with Japan ended. After leaving the service, he worked for Metropolitan Life Insurance until his retirement. He was a Coventry Town Councilman and became Council President. On February 6, 2013, Ed was awarded the Rhode Island Star for his meritorious service to the United States during World War II.
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