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P-51 Mustang

44-14171 was usually flown by Captain Michael Alba, who ended his combat tour on 12 December 1944.
On a training flight 31 December 1944, piloted by 2nd Lt Richard L. Engel, it caught fire and crashed in the North Sea, off Bradwell-on-Sea (South of Colchester, Essex). Richard Engel had been able to bail out at an altitude of about 500 feet, but he was killed.




  • Michael Alba

    Military | Captain | Fighter Pilot | 339th Fighter Group
    Born in Pasadena, California, Michael Alba grew up in Simi Valley where his family worked in the orchards. He was a 1937 teammate of future baseball star Jackie Robinson at the Pasadena City College, practicing on Catalina Island with the Cubs team....

  • Richard Engel

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot
    Richard Engel grew up in Roebling, New Jersey. After finishing High School, he attended classes at The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina where he was a Civil Engineering major. His Freshman and Sophomore years were spent as a member of...


  • Wormingford

    Military site : airfield
    Wormingford was a Royal Flying Corps/RAF anti-Zeppelin aircraft Landing Ground First World War, rebuilt for the Eighth Air Force 1942-43. It was a Ninth Air Force base from 1943-44, and home to the 362nd Fighter Group. Switching back to the Eighth Air...


Event Location Date
Failed to Return (FTR) Bradwell Bay, Essex, United Kingdom 31 December 1944

Caught fire on a training flight; crashed in the sea, off Bradwell Bay


Date Contributor Update
26 September 2015 11:56:37 ED-BB Changes to markings, description, events, unit associations, person associations and place associations

MACR 11452

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:41:44 AAM AAM ingest

MACR 11452 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database