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.
The 55th Fighter Group were the first P-38 Lightning Group to go fully operational from England. The pilots flew long-range escort missions for bombers flying over occupied Europe and racked up 'kills' of their own by destroying enemy aircraft in...
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....
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...
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...
|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