Colonel Lewis was born on Christmas Eve 1919, in Superior, lowa. When the war broke out in Europe, he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force and then later transferred to the United States Army Air Corps. He was assigned to fly P-38 aircraft operating from New Guinea in the Far East. He became an ace on April 3, 1944,when he shot down a Zeke, which was one of Japan's front line fighter aircraft. Altogether, he had seven confirmed aircraft shot down, five probable and three damaged. He also saw combat in the European Theater where he flew the P-38 and the P-51. He remained in the Air Force after World War II and served at Myrtle Beach Air Force Base as commander of the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing in the mid-1960s. Colonel Lewis received the Legion of Merit with one oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters and the Air Medal with 26 oak leaf clusters. Colonel Lewis retired from the Air Force in 1971.