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Ottaway Bethard Cornwell


Pilot 4th FS, 52nd FG, 12AF USAAF, lost over France 27-1-44 Lt Ottaway B Cornwell KIA. MACR 2225.
'27 January 44 was unusually cold but clear and the wind subsided and missions resumed. Eight Spitfires led by Maj. Houston, Commanding Officer of the 4th FS, flew an ill-fated recce mission to France. As the formation approached the German airfield at Grande Bastide, 1st Lt Ottaway B Cornwell's flight observed Me 109s taking off, and he and Lt. Harold Beedle dove to attack them. On their first pass they used their combined firepower to shoot down one of the Me 109s, but failed until too late to see Messerschmitts closing in on their tails. Cornwell and Beedle had left two Spitfires up high as top cover, and then dove to attack six Me 109s which were taking off. However, the attacking German fighters struck so quickly the top cover could not react. The Me 109s hit both Spitfires with fatal bursts and both of them were seen to hit the side of a nearby mountain and explode'



  • Harold Beedle

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 52nd Fighter Group
    Pilot 4th FS, 52nd FG, 12AF USAAF. ...

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Units served with

  • 52nd Fighter Group

    52nd Fighter Group

    Two of the Squadrons of the 52nd Fighter Group flew Spitfires with RAF Fighter Command in August and early September 1942 from Northern Ireland. After these preparatory missions, the Group joined the Twelfth and then Fifteenth Air Force in the...


  • JK948

    Supermarine Spitfire JK948 Mk Vc, Built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory. ...


Event Location Date
Lived in Harris County, TX, USA 1940
Died Grande Bastide, Pourrières, France 27 January 1944

Shot down in combat with Bf109's, Bf109's hit both Spitfires with fatal bursts and both of them were seen to hit the side of a nearby mountain and explode' 27-1-44. MACR 2225.

Buried 1945

Tablets of the Missing at Florence American Cemetery, Florence, Italy.


Date Contributor Update
26 July 2018 18:11:48 usafdo Changes to media associations


Date Contributor Update
27 December 2015 11:25:17 Al_Skiff Created entry with surname, middlename, firstname, nationality, service number, highest rank, role, biography, events, unit associations and aircraft associations