Witt, Jr.
Colonel Lynn "L.E." Witt, Jr.

Colonel Lynn "L.E."Witt, Jr. (1916 - 2003)

Colonel Lynn Elwood Witt, Jr. was born in the community of Jonesville just outside Bowdon, Georgia on April 8, 1916.  He attended Bowdon College and West Georgia College.  Witt enlisted in the Army Air Corps in December 1941 as a flying cadet.  He was rated as a pilot in July, 1942 and commissioned as Second Lieutenant on December 13, 1942.  During his service Witt flew 326 missions, the most flown by any pilot during World War II.  He was credited with shooting down six Japanese aircraft and sinking one Japanese destroyer. While assigned to the 35th Fighter Squadron he was ordered to attack a Japanese Naval force of nine ships off the coast of the Philippine Islands.  Because of limited refueling and rearming facilities, the squadron left for the attack with 15 P-38’s, but without the 500lb bombs they would have normally carried.  Captain Witt made two low level staffing runs on the ship he attacked which set off fires and secondary explosions that sank the destroyer. For this accomplishment Witt received a Distinguished Service Cross. Witt accumulated 905 hours of combat flying time, flying P-39’s, P-40’s, P-47’s and his favorite P-38’s.  He named his fighter plane “Homesick”. For his service in World War II, Colonel Witt received many decorations including, the Silver Star, the Air Medal with eight Oak Leaf Clusters, a Distinguished Unit Citation with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the American Campaign medal, the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with one Silver and three Bronze Stars, the World War II Victory Medal, the Army of Occupation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Philippine Liberation Ribbon and the Philippine Independence Ribbon. He received the Air Force Longevity Service Award with three Oak Leaf Clusters. During his 30 year career in the Air Force, he spent five years at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia as the Head of Air Force Recruiting.  He retired in May, 1969 and returned to Bowdon where he became active in local and Carroll County Civic affairs.  Witt was infamous for performing tricks while flying over Bowdon.  Several People believed that the exclamation, “There’s L.E.!” referred to an air plane trick, not a particular pilot. Colonel Witt died in Bowdon on July 12, 2003 at the age of 87.

In recognition of his distinguished contributions to the field of aviation, Col. Lynn E. Witt (ret.) was enshrined into the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame on April 24, 2010.