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Selden R Edner

Military

Born on 26 January 1919, Selden Edner moved to California in the 1930s and in 1940, after reading the news about the war in Europe, he left home to join the Royal Canadian Air Force.

After completing pilot training he was posted to the RAF No. 121 "Eagle Squadron" in England. While flying with the Squadron, Edner was credited with the destruction of 5 enemy aircraft in aerial combat, 1 shared probable, and 2 damaged.

In late summer 1942, when the Eagle Squadron transferred to the U.S. Army Air Forces, he was commissioned as a Captain on September 16, 1942. He then returned to the U.S. where he served as an instructor pilot.

On 29 April 1943, he was promoted to the rank of Major and was assigned in October of that year to the 336th Fighter Squadron of the 4th Fighter Group in England. Achieving the rank of Lt Colonel on 29 November 1943, he took command of the 336th Squadron. Becoming Operations Officer for the 4th Fighter Group in January 1944, he was named the Group’s Executive Officer the next month.

On 8 March 1944, he was forced to bail out over Germany and was made a Prisoner of War. Selden Edner was held at Stalag Luft 3 in Sagan-Silesia Bavaria and later at Nuremberg-Langwasser before returning to Allied Military control on 29 April 1945, probably at Stalag 7A in Moosburg, where Stalag Luft 3 POWs had arrived after a long forced-march.

After the war, Selden Edner returned to flying status and later served as an Air Attaché to Greece during the Civil War there. On 21 January 1949, flying as an observer in the back seat of an AT-6 flown by a Greek pilot on a reconnaissance mission, the aircraft was shot down by Communist guerillas near Karpenision (Karpenissi), Greece. While the pilot died, Lt Col Edner was wounded and survived the crash only to be hanged by the guerillas that same day.

Service

Units served with

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force

    Command

  • 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...

  • 335th Fighter Squadron

    335th Fighter Squadron

    Squadron
    The 335th Fighter Squadron was the offspring of No. 121 (Eagle) Squadron RAF. Formed on 21 May 1941, No. 121 was the second of the three Eagle Squadrons composed of American volunteers flying out of England. They were known as the "Chiefs" and were...

  • 336th Fighter Squadron

    336th Fighter Squadron

    Squadron
    The 336th Fighter Squadron was constituted by the War Department on 22 august 1942, and was activated at Bushey Hall, England, on 12 September. It had been designated as No. 133 (Eagle) Squadron, and was made up of American volunteers to the Royal Air...

  • No. 121 'Eagle' Squadron

    No. 121 'Eagle' Squadron

    Squadron
    'On 14 May 1941, No. 121 was reformed at Kirton-in-Lindsey as the second 'Eagle' Squadron to be manned by American volunteers. Equipped with Hurricanes, it began defensive patrols in October but in November it converted to Spitfires. It moved to North...

  • Headquarters (4th Fighter Group)

    Headquarters (4th Fighter Group)

    Headquarters
    The Headquarters Squadron was made up of true leaders. Most had flown Hurricanes, Spitfires, Thunderbolts and Mustangs. ...

Aircraft

  • 42-8528

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    Assigned to 336FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 313FS, 50FG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) support mission to Vande. Shot down by Fw190 whilst strafing enemy trucks, pilot 2nd Lt John R Nowlin KIA. 30-Jul-44. MACR 7403.

  • 43-6442

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 336FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Aircraft struck by flak on escort mission to Berlin, A/C abandoned, crashing near Hagenburg, Germany. Pilot Lt Col Selden Edner bailed out and was captured. POW. 8-Mar-44. MACR 2838.

  • AA903

    Spitfire
    Supermarine Spitfire AA903 Mk Vb Constr #2216, Built at Chattis Hill. FF 22-10-41, Delivered to No 33 MU 25-10-41, assigned to 121S 3-11-41, AST 31-5-42, assigned to 2USAAF 3-8-42, FACE 11-8-42 SOC 19-8-42

Missions

  • 8th Air Force FO 263 BOMBER ESCORT

    8 March 1944
    A combined force of 891 fighters of types: P-38; P-47 and P-51 are despatched to provide escort to heavy bombers attacking the VKF ball bearing factories at Berlin/Erkner. Mission summary follows: ...

Associated Place

  • Biggin Hill

    Military site : airfield
    An RAF Station with US lodger units. USAAF Spitfires and P-38s were attached to RAF No 11 Group stations in mid-1942 for training; also used for special operations by British and US forces.

  • 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...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Fergus Falls, Minnesota, United States 26 January 1919

Born in January 26, 1919 in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, USA.

Educated San José State University, 1 Washington Sq, San Jose, CA 95192 1937 – 1940

Attended San Jose State University, 1937-1940.

Joined RCAF Canada 1940

Joined Royal Canadian Air Force.

Completed pilot training RCAF. Canada 1940

Completed pilot training with RCAF.

Comissioned Captain in USAAF England, UK 16 September 1942

On transfer to the USAAF, commissioned as a Captain on September 16, 1942.

Promoted Major England, UK 29 April 1943

Promoted to the rank of Major, 29th April 1943.

Assigned October 1943

Assigned October 1943 to the 336th Fighter Squadron of the 4th Fighter Group in England.

Promoted Lt Colonel England, UK 29 November 1943

Promoted Lt Colonel on 29th November 1943, took command of the 336th Squadron.

Operations Officer 4th FG January 1944

Op's Officer for the 4th FG, January 1944.

Executive Officer 4th FG England, UK February 1944

Executive Officer 4th FG, February 1944.

Prisoner of War Stalag Luft III, Zagan, Poland 8 March 1944 – 29 April 1945

Bailed out. Arrested, he was first interned at Stalag Luft III and later at Nuremberg-Langwasser.

Shot Down/Bailed Out Hagenburg, Germany 8 March 1944

Shot down, his P-51B 43-6442 crashed near Hagenburg, Germany.

Died Karpenissi, Greece 21 January 1949

On 21 January 1949, flying as an observer in the back seat of an AT-6 flown by a Greek pilot on a reconnaissance mission, the aircraft was shot down by Communist guerillas near Karpenision (Karpenissi), Greece. While the pilot died, Lt Col Edner was wounded and survived the crash only to be hanged by the communist guerillas that same day.

Lived in San Jose, CA, USA

San Jose, California, USA.

Posted RAF No 121 (Eagle) Sqn England, UK

Posted to the RAF No 121 (Eagle) Squadron in England.

Credited 5 kill/1 shared/2 damaged Great Britain, United Kingdom

Credited with the destruction of 5 enemy aircraft in aerial combat, 1 shared probable, and 2 damaged.

Returned Stateside United States

Returned to the U.S. where he served as an instructor pilot.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
25 February 2016 12:40:05 Al_Skiff Changes to unit associations and place associations
Sources

https://airforce.togetherweserved.com/usaf/servlet/tws.webapp.WebApp?cmd...
http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/src/dbmsn.asp?SN=43-6442 MACR bare bones.
http://www.fold3.com/image/28741538/ MACR Details.

Date Contributor Update
21 October 2015 09:57:21 general ira snapsorter Changes to biography
Sources

Merged with duplicate entries to include details from :
Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia ;
MACR 2838;
Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces;
Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list

Date Contributor Update
29 July 2015 18:00:14 Al_Skiff Changes to role, awards, events, unit associations and media associations
Sources

https://airforce.togetherweserved.com/usaf/servlet/tws.webapp.WebApp?cmd...
http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/src/dbmsn.asp?SN=43-6442 MACR bare bones.
http://www.fold3.com/image/28741538/ MACR Details.

Date Contributor Update
20 January 2015 14:32:10 ED-BB Changes to service number, biography, events, unit associations, place associations and mission associations
Sources

* NARA WWII POW Records
* MACR 2838
* Page 16 of the book “VIII Fighter Command at War: Long Reach” by Michael O'Leary
* Details at http://veterantributes.org/TributeDetail.php?recordID=682
* 4th Fighter Group website : http://www.4thfightergroupassociation.org/uploads/8/2/0/3/8203817/336_ed...
* Photos at
http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205199501
http://www.gettyimages.be/detail/nieuwsfoto's/the-work-of-no-121-squadron-raf-rochford-essex-august-nieuwsfotos/154418715?Language=nl
* Page 87 at http://sill-www.army.mil/firesbulletin/archives/1949/MAR_APR_1949/MAR_AP...
* 1949 newsreel about the crash at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6npugkT2L7I

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:25:04 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

MACR 2838 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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