From Pensacola, FL, Lt. Dick D. Connelly earned three aerial victories while flying with the 370th Fighter Squadron, 359th Fighter Group, from 26 May 1944 through 27 November 1944 when he was KIA. He was buried in the Lorraine American Cemetery.
12 Sep 1944: Briefing was at 0715 for an all-type escort mission in vicinity of Brux. 14 planes took off; 4 returning early. 5 pilots were to return late. Lt. Jones, in addition, was believed to have crashed into the woods on a hill adjacent to an airdrome south of Meiningen where Red Flight went down to strafe. 4 Germans were thought to have been killed here. Bombers were escorted through target. Claims: Lt. McInnes (for Lt. Jones): 3 unidentified single engine aircraft destroyed on ground and (for self) 2 unidentified single engine enemy aircraft and 1 Ju 52 destroyed on ground and 6 unidentified single engine enemy aircraft damaged on ground; Lt. Lamont: 2 unidentified single engine enemy aircraft destroyed on ground; Lt. Connelly: 1 Me 109 and 1 FW 190 destroyed in air. ~ Excerpt from the September 1944 370th Fighter Squadron History
27 November 1944: Total for the day was 17-0-1 for the loss of Dick Connelly. On his last mission, Dick had said the night before that he believed he would not come back, adding “I won’t be killed or anything but it sure will be hell having to jump on my last ride.” That morning he told his comrades of the 370th: “Get the guy that gets Blue 3”. In combat, he called he was attacking, encouraging his flight, and a moment later remarked, “The son of a bitch has shot me down. I’m getting out.” This was near Kassel at 1230. ~ Excerpt from the November 1944 359th Fighter Group History
The 359th Fighter Group flew 346 missions from East Wretham between December 1943 and April 1945. In the main these missions were escorting bombers flying over occupied Europe. The Group, soon after converting from Thunderbolts to Mustangs, were...
Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter pilot
Assigned to 370FS, 359FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) strafing mission to Ehlen, Germany in P-51D 'Dee Dee III' 44-14096, crashed near Hoenebach, Killed in Action (KIA) 27-Nov-44 MACR 10475.
Awards: DFC (OLC), AM (4OLC), PH
Military site : airfield
East Wretham was not improved to Class A standard. It retained its shorter runways, although eventually pierced-steel planking was laid to make take offs and landings easier for the Thunderbolt, and then Mustang, pilots. Steel matting was also laid to...