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Richard Allen Spencer

Military

Richard Spencer served as a pilot with the 385th Bomb Group from Great Ashfield. He completed more than 30 combat missions in Europe before transferring to the 1403rd Air Force Base Unit, Air Transport Command. It was reported in May 1944 that he was piloting one of three Flying Fortresses that shot down 22 fighters over Berlin on a recent mission.

Spencer was killed when the C-60A (serial number 42-56015) he was piloting crashed on take-off from Prestwick, Scotland. It was later determined that the left engine failed after take-off at an altitude of 300 feet. Captain Spencer and his crew were ferrying the aircraft to the USA after they had completed their tours of duty. All five crew members were killed.

He left behind his wife Madeline and a young son Richard A Spencer Jr, whom he never met.

Service

Units served with

  • 385th Bomb Group

    385th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 385th Bomb Group, who took the nickname "Van's Valiants" after their first Commanding Officer Col. Elliot Vandevanter, flew B-17s from Great Ashfield, Suffolk. The Group led the famous attack on the Focke-Wolfe aircraft factory at Marienburg on 9...

  • 551st Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-56015

    C-56 Lodestar
    The C-60A (serial number 42-56015) crashed on take-off from Prestwick, Scotland. It was later determined that the left engine failed after take-off at an altitude of 300 feet. Captain Richard A Spencer and his crew were ferrying the aircraft to the USA...

Associated Place

  • Great Ashfield

    Military site : airfield
    The airfield was built in 1942 by John Laing & Son Ltd. 108,000 tons of concrete was used in its construction, creating a Class 'A' airfield suitable for heavy bombers. The 385th Bomb Group took up residence in the summer of 1943, and remained at the...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Cleveland, OH, USA 23 June 1915
Enlisted Cleveland, OH, USA 31 March 1942
Qualified as a pilot Valdosta, GA, USA April 1943
Died Prestwick, South Ayrshire, UK 11 August 1944
Buried Lake View Cemetery, 12316 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA 1949

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
21 April 2016 15:25:44 Lucy May Created entry with surname, middlename, firstname, nickname, nationality, service number, highest rank, role, biography, events, unit associations and place associations
Sources

Correspondence with Richard A Spencer's granddaughter, Dawn.

See also:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10207804557743677&set=pcb.576327...
Findagrave record: http://findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=spencer&GSfn=richard&G...
NARA enlistment record: https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record-detail.jsp?dt=893&mtch=9&tf=F&q=spen...

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