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Walter J Donovan


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 returning to RAF Thorney Bill in darkness. The aircraft ran out of gas and crashed into the sea 8 miles south-west of the Portland Bill lighthouse and 2LT Donovan was killed.


Units served with

  • 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 Bomb Squadron


  • 42-8494

    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...


  • 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)...

Associated Place

  • 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
Killed in Action (KIA) Portland Bill Lighthouse, Portland, Portland, Dorset DT5 2JT, UK 15 August 1943

Killed when aircraft ran out of gas and crasehd into the sea upon return from bomber escort 8 miles south-west of Portland Bill lighthouse.

Commemorated Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial, Madingley Road, Coton, Cambridgeshire CB23 7PH, UK 1945

Commemorated on the Wall of the Missing, Cambridge American Cemetery.


Date Contributor Update
23 June 2015 17:47:05 Lee8thbuff Changes to service number, biography, awards, events, place associations and mission associations

Lee Cunningham 23-Jun-2015. Added SN per MACR 625. Added decorations and Commemorated event per American Battle Monumnets Commission (ABMC) records; Made connection to Place and Mission within existing website data; Added Summary Biography based on Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces", Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE. COMBINED data from a duplicated entry from Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list on original data ingest.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:26:54 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 625 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database