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George L Merritt Jr

Military

George L Merritt served as a fighter pilot with the 361st Fighter Group. He had 11 victories to his name. Merritt was Killed in Action (KIA) on 7 June 1944 when his P-51 #42106835 crashed near Roiffe, France after striking a high voltage line.

He is buried in Epinal American Cemetery. There is a memorial dedicated to his memory in Roiffé. A moving ceremony (34 bearers) was held in Roiffé Sunday, June 5 2016 during which the veteran Karl Lindquist laid flowers. The Roiffé village school now bears the name of G. L. Merritt as well.

More detailed information is available here: http://cmduloudunais.free.fr/A2/Roiffe%20Crash.htm

Service

Units served with

  • 361st Fighter Group

    361st Fighter Group

    Group
    The 361st Fighter Group was the last P-47 Thunderbolt Group to join the Eighth Air Force. Between 21 January 1944 and 20 April 1945, the Group flew 441 missions, the majority in an escort role in support of bombers flying over occupied Europe. The...

  • 375th Fighter Squadron

Aircraft

Associated Place

  • Bottisham

    Military site : airfield
    The P-47 Thunderbolts of the 361st Fighter Group damaged the surfaces of the airfield so much in the first months of flying from Bottisham that American engineers were called in to lay a new runway. In January 1944 they constructed a 1,470-yard-long...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Cumming, Georgia 1914
Enlisted Syracuse, NY, USA 25 April 41

(See NARA enlistment record)

Lived in Gainesville, GA, USA 1920
Killed in Action (KIA) 86120 Roiffé, France 7 June 1944

Flying a P-51B he took off from Bottisham on an area support mission to the Angers area of France. The flight strafed a convoy of trucks including a gasoline trailer which was set on fire and was completely burned out, and another truck was badly damaged. He was shot down by fighters from 6th Staffel, 2nd Group Schlageter. Crashed at 1950hrs at Le Chat Pendu, on the road from Loudun to Fontevraud-l'Abbaye near Roiffe, 12 miles south of Saumur, France. He was initially buried in the Community Cemetery of Roiffe, reinterred in the US Military Cemetery Champigneul at Chalons-sur-Marne on 15 July 1946 before final reinterment in Epinal.

Buried 1945

Plot A Row 4 Grave 44
Epinal American Cemetery

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
20 June 2016 13:06:18 Lucy May Changes to biography and events
Sources

Corrected details in the record after correspondence with Jérôme Moreau, webmaster of Souvenir Français Comité de Loudun:
'By visiting the American Air Museum G.L. Merritt, I noticed two typographical errors:
- The Pend Chat > should be written Le Chat Pendu
- Saumar > Saumur'

Also the correct Findagrave link is this one:
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=merritt&GSfn=georg...

Date Contributor Update
10 June 2016 23:23:53 466thHistorian Changes to events
Sources

http://us-census.mooseroots.com/l/77099079/George-L-Merritt-Jr
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=bennett&GSfn=byron...

Date Contributor Update
09 June 2016 13:23:41 Lucy May Changes to service number, biography, awards, events, place associations and aircraft associations
Sources

Brought in information from duplicate records. Sources:
MACR 5523 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database
Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list
ABMC record: https://www.abmc.gov/node/532591#.V1lfVE32aM8

Also, detailed information available here: http://cmduloudunais.free.fr/A2/Roiffe%20Crash.htm

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:11:02 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 5523

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