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James K Kunkle


James Kunkle, was a P-38 and P-51 fighter pilot credited with two aerial combat victories. He joined the 401st Fighter Squadron, 370th Group of the 9th Air Force and carried out 36 combat missions in support of the Normandy landing operations and bombing missions in Germany and the Ardennes. After taking off from Roye/ Amy, 26 miles southeast of Amiens on Sept. 16, 1944, he was attacked near Aachen, Germany, after having attacked two enemy aircraft in order to protect the formation in which he was flying. He was badly burned but was able to open his parachute and was rescued by soldiers from the U.S. Army's 1st Division. Kunkle was one of three American D-Day veterans personally honored by President Barack Obama and French President Sarkozy in ceremonies at Normandy, France in June 2009.


Units served with

Associated Place

  • Andover

    Military site : airfield
    Andover was built in the First World War and used by the Royal Flying Corps, then the RAF. Home to the 370th Fighter Group in 1944, it was then handed back to the RAF. The airfield closed in 1976, and the site has since been used by the British Army.

  • Roye / Amy

    Military site : airfield


Event Location Date
Born Pennsylvania, USA 1922
Lived in Los Angeles County, CA, USA March 1943
Enlisted Santa Ana, CA, USA 15 March 1943


Date Contributor Update
22 September 2017 11:08:54 Lucy May Created entry with surname, middlename, firstname, nationality, service number, highest rank, role, biography, events, unit associations and place associations

Correspondence with John Mollison, aviation writer, artist and filmmaker and producer of the on-demand show, "Old Guys and Their Airplanes.". See:

NARA enlistment record: