Fighter Pilot: The World War II Career of Alex Vraciu, looks at the daring exploits of this Hoosier flier during his wartime service. A graduate of DePauw University, Vraciu learned to fly during his college years and joined the navy before America was thrust into the war following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Vraciu became skilled in the deadly game of destroying the enemy in the skies over the Pacific. For four months in 1944, Vraciu stood as the leading ace in the U.S. Navy. He shot down nineteen enemy airplanes in the air, destroyed an additional twenty-one on the ground, and sank a large Japanese merchant ship before his luck ran out on December 14th, 1944 when his plane was hit during a stafing run against a Japanese airfield. Luckily he was almost immediately rushed to safety by an small group of U.S. Army guerrillas. He spent the next 5 weeks fighting with the guerrillas before he marched into an American camp with a sword and captured Japanese Lugar pistol.
Indiana Historical Society
The World War II Career of Alex Vraciu