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42-66719

P-38 Lightning

P-38H-1-LO 42-66719 was assigned to the 55FG/38FS at Nuthampstead, UK. On 18-Oct-43 the aircraft, piloted by 2LT Hugh E. Gillette, was deaptched with 32 others on a mission to escort bombers headed for Duren, Germany. Weather conditions made it impossible for the fighters to rendevous with the bomber stream and both the fighters and the bombers were recalled. It is believed that the aircraft sustained some sort of mechanical failure and 2LT Gillette radioed his flight leader that he was turning back. Last communication from 2LT Gillette said that he was abandoning the aircraft approximately 50 east of Clacton, UK. Air-Sea Rescue arrived at his reported position within eight minutes but neither he nor his aircraft were ever found. 1KIA MACR 1040.

Service

Units

  • 55th Fighter Group

    55th Fighter Group

    Group
    The 55th Fighter Group were the first P-38 Lightning Group to go fully operational from England. The pilots flew long-range escort missions for bombers flying over occupied Europe and racked up 'kills' of their own by destroying enemy aircraft in...

  • 38th Fighter Squadron

People

  • Hugh Gillette

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 55th Fighter Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) on 18-Oct-43 as pilot of P-38H 42-66719 while on an operation to escort bombers headed for Duren, Germany. Weather prevented rendeavous of fighters with the bomber formations and both the fighter and the bombers were recalled. He...

Missions

  • VIII Fighter Command FO-162 BOMBER ESCORT

    18 October 1943
    This mission was composed of two fighter elements. The first element was a force of 33 P-38s from 55FG despatched to accompany bomber formations headed for Duren, Germany. Weather conditions prevented rendevous with the bomber stream and both the...

Places

  • Nuthampstead

    Military site : airfield
    Built during 1942-43, Nuthampstead was the nearest Eighth Air Force heavy bomber base to London. It had three concrete runways, 50 loop hardstandings and two dispersed T2 hangars. It was first occupied from September 1943 to April 1944 by the 55th...

Events

Event Location Date
Failed to Return (FTR) Over Water (OW) English Channel 18 October 1943

Believed to have sustained some mechanical failure and was seen to turn back. Aircraft abandoned over the sea 50 miles east of Clacton.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
07 July 2015 19:07:28 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-Jul-2015. Correcting MACR citation in Description to MACR 1040.

Date Contributor Update
07 July 2015 18:51:54 Lee8thbuff Changes to markings, description, events, place associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-Jul-2015. Added Markings and crafted Description based on "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces", Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE. Added note to FTR event per MACR 4927.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:59 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

MACR 1040 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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