Paul Conger; Decorated World War II Fighter Pilot
Paul Conger, 76, a highly decorated World War II hero who was national president of the Combat Pilots of America. A native of Los Angeles, Conger attended Beverly Hills High School and studied metallurgy at the College of the Pacific. Joining the Army Air Corps in 1941, Conger earned his wings at Kelly Field in Texas and was assigned to the 56th Fighter Group, which in 1942 became the first U.S. fighter unit sent to England. Flying 560 combat hours in 168 missions, Conger earned the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross with four clusters, Air Medal with 19 clusters, Purple Heart and Unit Citation with one cluster. In civilian life, Conger operated an air freight business for many years, and then went into heavy equipment truck leasing and sales. On Aug. 20 in Loma Linda, Calif.