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John Stein Jr


On April 3, 1945, Stein was escorting bombers to Kiel, Germany when his scouting flight was engaged and fired on by friendly P-51s of the 359th Fighter Group. Stein's aircraft was hit and went into a flat spin at 14,000 feet. The right wing came off, and the aircraft continued its spin. Stein's wingman urged him to bail out, but when last seen, there was no fire and the canopy was intact, indicating no bail out. The aircraft crashed into Gamborg Fjord.

The wreckage was located by Danish fisher men but no recovery was made. An effort was made by Grave Registration in May, 1945 after the liberation of Denmark to pull the aircraft from the water, but this attempt failed. On May 6, 1948, another effort attempted a recovery, but also failed. Finally, in October, 1948, human remains were recovered, and buried at the Ardennes American Cemetery where Lt. Stein now lies in Plot C, Row 6, Grave 38.

Killed in Action (KIA) 3 April 1945 in AC 44-12152. At time of death, Lt. Stein was with the 3rd Scouting Force flying out of Wormingford, He crashed near Rendsburg

In Memoriam

'My Cousin Johnny was in the army air corps, and was shot down on a mission over Belgium when I was just Ten Years old here in Santa Monica. Still remembering, at Seventy Seven Years old here in Santa Monica'
Remembered by Dale R Laster, Santa Monica, CA



  • Olin Everhart

    Military | Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 359th Fighter Group
    On his 12th operational flight on 3 April 1945, Everhart was flying as part of Yellow flight. Yellow Flight mistook friendly P-51s of the 3rd Scouting force for enemy aircraft firing upon them. ...

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Units served with

  • 3rd Scouting Force

    3rd Scouting Force

    The 3rd Scouting Force was unique in that it operated P-51s and B-17s simultaneously, flying weather reconnaissance and escort missions for the 8th Air Force's Bomb Groups. ...

  • 493rd Bomb Group

    493rd Bomb Group

    The 493rd Bomb Group were the last Eighth Air Force Group to become operational, flying their first combat mission from Debach, Suffolk, on D-Day, 6 June 1944. The Group was known as "the Fighting 493rd", named by their Commanding Officer Colonel...

  • 55th Fighter Group

    55th Fighter 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...

  • 862nd Bomb Squadron


Associated Place

  • Wormingford

    Military site : airfield
    Wormingford was a Royal Flying Corps/RAF anti-Zeppelin aircraft Landing Ground First World War, rebuilt for the Eighth Air Force 1942-43. It was a Ninth Air Force base from 1943-44, and home to the 362nd Fighter Group. Switching back to the Eighth Air...


Event Location Date
Born Clackamas County, OR, USA 13 November 1916
Enlisted California, USA 1944
Killed Friendly Fire (KFF) 3 April 1945
Buried Ardennes American Cemetery and Memorial October 1948

Plot C, Row 6, Grave 38.


Date Contributor Update
13 August 2018 10:53:06 Emily Changes to biography, events, person associations and place associations

Information and friendly fire narrative report provided by Pyker

MACR 13964 via Fold 3

Together We Served

Date Contributor Update
10 August 2018 09:52:52 general ira snapsorter Changes to biography, events, unit associations and aircraft associations

Merged with duplicate entry to include details from:
- the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia;
- roster

Date Contributor Update
04 August 2018 11:21:26 Darren Jelley Changes to biography

amended to remove "completed missions with the 493rd BG"
Lt Stein did not fly with the 493rd BG as a pilot. He flew with the 3rd Scouting Force which came under the administration of the 862nd BS of the 493rd BG whilst B-17's were being flown from Wormingford

493rd BG Archives

Date Contributor Update
29 December 2015 17:20:16 millebr Changes to awards

Date Contributor Update
24 November 2014 12:04:41 Emily Changes to nickname

Dale R Laster, via American Air Museum Memory Book Correspondence.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:15:32 AAM AAM ingest

ABMC, MACR 13964 / Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list