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P-51 Mustang

Assigned to 334FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Lost, Mech failure 6-Feb-45 crashed into North Sea - F/O William D Bates baled out KIA.



  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force

    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 4th Fighter Group

    4th Fighter Group

    Some of the pilots of the 4th Fighter Group had seen many hours of combat by the time they joined the 4th Fighter Group as they had volunteered with the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Royal Air Force. The three 'Eagle Squadrons' of RAF Fighter...

  • 334th Fighter Squadron

    334th Fighter Squadron

    The 334th Fighter Squadron was the successor to No. 71 Eagle squadron of the Royal Air Force when the 4th Fighter Group was activated on 12 September 1942. They were based at Debden Field, Essex. The "Fighting Eagles" as they were called, flew...


  • William Bates

    Military | Flight Officer | Fighter Pilot
    Suffered Mechanical Failure in P-51D 44-13884 aborted mission and abandoned A/C over North Sea, unable to get into his dinghy after several attempts, he elected to float in his Mae West and await rescue. Though located by an ASR Walrus, it was too...

  • Willard Gillette

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Fighter Pilot
    Lt. Willard G "GI" Gillette was a colourful pilot who survived a mid-air collision, taxi accidents, and the loss of his P-51's tail section in a dive. He also lost a wingman to enemy action, prior to completing his tour of duty on 25 October 1944. ...

  • David Howe

    Military | Captain | Pilot
    David W Howe was born on 6 February 1919 at East Hickory, Pennsylvania. He joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1941 in Toronto, Canada, and earned his wings as a Sergeant Pilot on 8 October 1942. ...

  • Willard Wahl

    Military | Chief Master Sergeant | Crew Chief-750
    Crew chief 334th FS 4th FG 1943-45 Served in Korean and Vietnam


  • Debden

    Military site : airfield
    RAF Debden, construction of which began in 1935, is perhaps most famous as a Battle of Britain fighter airfield, partly responsible for the defence of London in 1940. In 1942 it was also home to three RAF 'Eagle Squadrons’ of volunteer American pilots...


Event Location Date
Crashed Debden, Saffron Walden, Essex CB11, UK 6 August 1944

Landing accident Debden/Sta 356 Cat 3 damage, pilot Lt Dean E Lange, 6-Aug-44.

334FS 4FG 8AF.

Crashed North Sea 6 February 1945

Lost, Mech failure 6-Feb-45 crashed into North Sea - F/O William D Bates baled out KIA.


Date Contributor Update
07 March 2016 11:21:38 Al_Skiff Created entry with serial number, aircraft type, production block number, manufacturer, markings, description, events, unit associations, person associations and place associations