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P-47 Thunderbolt

P-47D-5-RE was assigned to the 353FG/352FS at Metfield, UK. On 15-Sep-43, the aircraft, with Pilot 2LT Walter J. Donovan, was despatched on bomber escort. The bomber mission to Romilly-sur-Seine and Paris, France was flown in the late afternoon. The fighters were operating at the limits of there range and returned in darkness headed for the RAF airfield at Thorney Bill. The aircraft apparently ran out of gas and crashed into the sea at 2005hrs eight miles south-west of Portland Bill, UK and the pilot was lost in the sea. 1KIA MACR 625.



  • 353rd Fighter Group

    353rd Fighter Group

    The 353rd Fighter Group was assigned to the Eighth Air Force on 7 June 1943. The group flew P-47 Thunderbolts, and from October 1944, P-51 Mustangs, as escorts for bombing missions across occupied Europe and to strafe targets on the ground. Tactical...

  • 352nd Fighter Squadron


  • Walter Donovan

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 353rd Fighter Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) on 15-Sep-43 in P-47D 42-8494, 353FG/352FS. 2LT Donovan had been despatched on a bomber escort mission of B-17s attacking at Romilly-sur-Seine and Paris, France. The fighters were operating at their maximum range and were...


  • VIII Fighter Squadron FO-132 BOMBER ESCORT

    15 September 1943
    201 P-47s from: 4FG; 56FG; 78FG; 352FG; and 353FG are despatched to provide escort for the B-17 formations attcking targets at Romilly-sur-Seine and Paris, France. The fighters claim 0-0-1 of attacking German fighters. 2 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR)...


  • Metfield

    Military site : airfield
    Built during 1942-43 as an Eighth Air Force bomber base, Metfield had three concrete runways, 39 pan plus 15 loop hardstandings, and two dispersed T2 hangars. It was first occupied by the 353rd Fighter Group, equipped with P-47s, from August 1943 to...


Event Location Date
Failed to Return (FTR) English Channel 15 September 1943

Ran out of petrol upon return from bomber escort mission and crashed into the English Channel.


Date Contributor Update
23 June 2015 17:28:44 Lee8thbuff Changes to description, events, place associations and mission associations

Lee Cunningham 23-Jun-2015.Made connections to Place and Mission within existing website data; Added Description based on "Losses of the 8th & 9th AIr Forces", Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:41:07 AAM AAM ingest

MACR 625 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database