Skip to main content
Edit entry 


P-47 Thunderbolt

P-47C-5-RE was assigned to the 56FG/63FS at Halesworth, UK. On 2 Sep-43 the aircraft was piloted by 1LT Wilfred A. Van Able and despatched to escort bombers. The flight was attacked by German fighters near Armentierres, France and 1LT Van Able was shot down. The aircraft crashed near Hazebrouck, France. 1LT Van Able parachuted to safety but was captured as a Prisoner of War (POW) 1 POW MACR 468



  • 56th Fighter Group

    56th Fighter Group

    Flying P-47 Thunderbolts throughout their time stationed in England, the Group, known as "the Wolfpack", had more ace pilots than any other Eighth Air Force Fighter Group. The 56th Fighter Group also destroyed more enemy aircraft in air combat than any...

  • 63rd Fighter Squadron


  • Wilfred Van Abel

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 56th Fighter Group
    On 2-Sep-43 while piloting P-47C 41-6537 [UN:Q] 56FG/63FS 1LT Wilfred A. Van Able's flight was attacked by German aircraft near Armentierres, France and he was shot down. He was able to successfully parachute to the grouns and was captured as a Prioner...


  • VIII Fighter Command FO-120 BOMBER ESCORT

    2 September 1943
    A combined force of 182 P-47s from: 4FG; 56FG; 78FG; and 353FG are despatched to escort the B-17 bomber formations that are sent to attck German airfields in NW France. Because the weather hampers boming efforts and most of the formations abort, the...


  • Halesworth

    Military site : airfield
    Halesworth was constructed in 1942-1943. Initially planned as a bomber airfield, its location close to the Suffolk coast meant that it was in an ideal position to operate escort fighters, where range was a critical factor. Consequently, the 56th...


Event Location Date
Failed to Return (FTR) Hazebrouck, France 2 September 1943

Attacked by German fighters near Armentierres, France and crashed near Hazebrouck, France


Date Contributor Update
29 May 2015 23:15:40 Lee8thbuff Changes to description and events

Lee Cunningham 29-May-2015 Edited Description with 1LT Van Able as POW per National Archives Records Administration (ANAR) WWII POW database.

Date Contributor Update
29 May 2015 22:44:32 Lee8thbuff Changes to markings, description, events, place associations and mission associations

Lee Cunningham 29-May-2015. Added Unit and Mission connections and FTRT event per MACR 468; Added DEscription based on "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces", Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:06 AAM AAM ingest

MACR 468 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database