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P-38 Lightning

P-38H-5-LO 42-67022 was assigned to the 20FG/79FS at Nuthampstead, UK. On 6-Nov-43 the aircraft, piloted by MAJ John C. Williams (20FG HQ), intended to join a group 7 other P-38s from 20FG that were aseembling with those of the 55FG on a mission to escort B-26 formations of 9th Air Force attacking at Montdidier, France. The aircraft was lost over the English Channel on the way to join up with the bomber formations. According to the MACR he took off seven minutes after that other aircraft from his Group left and used the wrong runway. Since this was the first combat operation by 20FG perhaps he just was anxious to join his men and get the first combat experience behind him. Radio communications were prohibited and he was never seen or heard from again. 1KIA MACR 1437.



  • 20th Fighter Group

    20th Fighter Group

    In August 1943, the 20th Fighter Group arrived in Clyde, Scotland, before travelling to Kings Cliffe, Northamptonshire, which was to be their base for the rest of the war. The Group flew 312 missions before their last mission on 25 April 1945. The...

  • Headquarters (20th Fighter Group)


  • John Wilkins

    Military | Major | Fighter Pilot 1056 multi-engine/Deputy Group Commander | 20th Fighter Group
    Deputy Group CO 20th FG MIA Nov 7, 1943. P-38H-5 s/n 42-67022 MACR #1437. ...


  • VIII Fighter Command FO-173 BOMBER ESCORT

    7 November 1943
    This mission is composed of two fighter elements. The first element if a force of 54 P-38s from 55FG despatched to provide escort for B-26 bombers from 9th Air Force attacking German airfields at Montdidier and Meulan, France. The force included 8 P...


  • Nuthampstead

    Military site : airfield
    Built during 1942-43, Nuthampstead was the nearest Eighth Air Force heavy bomber base to London. It had three concrete runways, 50 loop hardstandings and two dispersed T2 hangars. It was first occupied from September 1943 to April 1944 by the 55th...


Event Location Date
Failed to Return (FTR) Over Water (OW) English Channel 7 November 1943

Cause not determined, crashed into the English Channel.


Date Contributor Update
09 July 2015 20:06:29 Lee8thbuff Changes to description

Lee Cunningham 9-Jul-2015. Correcting typos in Description.

Date Contributor Update
09 July 2015 19:45:58 Lee8thbuff Changes to description, events, place associations and mission associations

Lee Cunningham 9-Jul-2015. Added Description based on "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces", Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE and MACR 1437.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:59 AAM AAM ingest

MACR 1437 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database