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Michael George Hurschell McPharlin

Military

Michael McPharlin, known as Mike or "Wee Mike" was a P/O on 71 Eagle Squadron RAF. He had joined the RCAF from Hastings, Michigan, and after completing his flying training he transferred into the Royal Air Force. He named his plane "Wee Ginny". He made many close friends in the Eagles, but when his friends transferred to the newly-commissioned 4th Fighter Group, 334th Squadron, he did not, but was instead assigned to the 339th Fighter Group. Nevertheless, he maintained an ongoing friendship with the 334th and was frequently loaned to and flew on missions with his 334th buddies.

On 19 August 1942 he had to bail out over Dieppe, but fortunately was returned to his squadron. On 6 June 1944, flying with his friends of 334th Squadron, in P-51B 42-106909 6N-Z 'Wee Ginny', he was not so lucky. He reported that his left magneto was out and he was heading for home nursing his rough engine. He was never heard from again.
He had 6.5 enemy aircraft to his credit.

Just five days after he was reported missing, on 11 June 1944, his wife Patricia gave birth to their daughter, Carleen.

On 29 November 2017, the Library & Archives at the San Diego Air & Space Museum received a donation of a pilot’s logbook. Research has revealed that the log book belonged to McPharlin. Read the full story here: http://sandiegoairandspace.org/blog/article/unlocking-a-mysterious-and-i...

The Air & Space Museum has shared the photos tucked into the log book here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sdasmarchives/sets/72157689771650741

Service

Units served with

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force

    Command

  • 339th Fighter Group

    339th Fighter Group

    Group
    In the years before deployment to the UK, the Group had been designated as a Bombardment Group (Dive) and trained in A-24 and A-25 dive-bombers and P-39 Airacobras. When, in April 1944, they joined the Eighth Air Force in Britain though, the pilots...

  • 4th Fighter Group

    4th Fighter Group

    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...

  • Headquarters Squadron (339th Fighter Group)
  • 334th Fighter Squadron

    334th Fighter Squadron

    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...

  • No. 71 'Eagle' Squadron

    No. 71 'Eagle' Squadron

    Squadron
    'On 19 September 1940, No. 71 was reformed at Church Fenton as the first 'Eagle' Squadron to be manned by American personnel. The Squadron received Hurricanes in November and became operational on defensive duties on 5 February 1941. No. 71 converted...

Aircraft

  • 42-106909

    P-51 Mustang

  • W3709

    Spitfire
    Supermarine Spitfire W3709 Mk Vb, Const #1962, Built at Chattis Hill. ...

  • W3761 'Blue Nose'

    Spitfire
    Supermarine Spitfire W3761 Mk Vb, Const #1948 Built at Eastleigh. ...

  • W3957

    Spitfire
    Supermarine Spitfire W3957 Mk Vb, Const #2142, Built at High Post. ...

Associated Place

  • 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...

  • Kirton-in-Lindsey

    Military site : airfield
    Used as an RFC and RAF Home Defence landing ground during the First World War, Kirton-in-Lindsey was built during 1938-40 as an RAF fighter station. It had two grass runways, 10 hardstandings, three grouped C hangars and four over-blister hangars....

  • Martlesham Heath

    Military site : airfield
    Opened in 1917 as home to the RFC Aeroplane Experimental Unit, Martlesham Heath became well known during the 1920s-30s as home to the Aircraft and Armament Experimental Establishment. Used as an RAF fighter station from 1939, with only a grass airfield...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Blue Island, IL, USA 16 June 1913

Born - 16 June 1913 Blue Island, IL, USA

Lived in Hastings, MI 49058, USA 1940
Joined RCAF Canada 1940

Joined Royal Canadian Air Force.

Service flying training Tulsa, OK, USA 1940

Completed his service flying training.

Transferred RAF 1940

Transferred to the Royal Air Force.

Shipped overseas Merseyside, UK 1941

Shipped overseas to ETO.

Operational training Great Britain, United Kingdom 1941

Operational training at OTU. Conversion to Hurricane and Spitfire.

Assigned Debden, Saffron Walden, Essex CB11, UK 1941

Assigned to 71 Eagle Squadron RAF. P/O on probation.

E/A Kills 1.5 total Saint-Omer, France 27 April 1941

1 x Bf109 killed and 1 shared on Rodeo to St Omer.

E/A Kills 1.5 total Saint-Omer, France 2 August 1942

3 x shared Fw190 kills in Spitfire Mk Vb W3709 St Omer Area 2-8-42.

E/A damaged Guînes, France 14 August 1942

1 x Fw190 damaged in Spitfire Mk Vb W3957 Guines, France. 14-8-42.

Bailed out on Op's Dieppe, France 19 August 1942

19 Aug 1942 he had to bail out of Spitfire Mk Vb W3761 over Dieppe, but fortunately was returned to his squadron.

E/A probable shared Dieppe, France 19 August 1942

3rd trip of the day in Spitfire Mk Vb W3761 and 1/2 share of Ju88 probable. Dieppe.

Assigned 29 September 1942

Assigned to the 339th Fighter Group, HQ Sqn.

Married Virginia Cromwell Deer Park, Toronto, ON, Canada 28 December 1942

At Deer Park Church Chapel

E/A Kills 1.5 total 2 July 1943

1 x Bf109 kill and 1 Bf109 shared, flying in P-51B 42-106909 6N-Z 'Wee Ginny' with HQ Sqn, 339th FG on a shuttle mission to Russia. 2-7-43.

Died Évreux, France 6 June 1944

On 6 June 1944, flying with his friends of 334th FS in P-51B 42-106909 6N-Z 'Wee Ginny'. He reported that his left magneto was out and he was heading for home nursing his rough engine. He was never heard from again. MIA/KIA. MACR 5621.

Buried Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial 1945

Plot E Row 1 Grave 43

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
09 January 2018 20:54:38 Al_Skiff Changes to middlename
Sources

http://sandiegoairandspace.org/blog/article/unlocking-a-mysterious-and-i...

Date Contributor Update
09 January 2018 14:13:34 Lucy May Changes to biography
Sources

Correspondence with Debbie Seracini, Archivist, San Diego Air and Space Museum
http://sandiegoairandspace.org/blog/article/unlocking-a-mysterious-and-i...

Date Contributor Update
21 December 2017 12:55:25 Lucy May Changes to biography and events
Sources

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/36338840/virginia-cromwell-coen

Date Contributor Update
06 December 2017 14:28:35 Lucy May Changes to role, biography and events
Sources

Brought in sources from duplicate records:
MACR 5621 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database
https://abmc.gov/node/545023#.Wif-QE1LGM8

Date Contributor Update
26 February 2016 12:58:35 Al_Skiff Changes to unit associations and place associations
Sources

Mission 376: Battle Over the Reich, May 28, 1944 (Stackpole Military History) by Ivo de Jong
http://www.uswarmemorials.org/html/people_details.php?PeopleID=3739
http://www.4thfightergroupassociation.org/uploads/8/2/0/3/8203817/334_mc...

Date Contributor Update
07 October 2015 21:03:35 Al_Skiff Changes to surname, middlename, role, biography, awards, events, unit associations, place associations and aircraft associations
Sources

http://www.4thfightergroupassociation.org/uploads/8/2/0/3/8203817/334_mc...
Mission 376: Battle Over the Reich, May 28, 1944 (Stackpole Military History) by Ivo de Jong
http://www.uswarmemorials.org/html/people_details.php?PeopleID=3739

Date Contributor Update
06 March 2015 17:03:20 apollo11 Changes to middlename, nickname, role, biography, events and unit associations
Sources

Personal research & 'Eighty-One Aces of the 4th Fighter Group' by Frank Speer.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:20:10 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list

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