P-47D-5-RE 42-8416 was assigned to the 355FG/357FS at Steeple Morden, UK. On 13-Dec-1943 the aircraft, piloted by 2LT Donald J. Laing, was despatched along with other P-47s from 355FG to provide escort to bombers attacking at Keil, Germany. On take-off the aircraft struck a tree which knocked off the belly tank and caused structural damage. 2LT Laing headed for the coast and abandoned the aircraft over Sizwell, UK. The aircraft crashed into the English Channel two miles east of Sizewell, UK. 2LT Laing sustained no injuries and Returned to Duty (RTD).


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Units served with


  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 355th Fighter Group 357th Fighter Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot


Aerial photograph of Leiston airfield looking south, the control tower and technical site are to the right, 16 October 1945. Photograph taken by No. 541 Squadron, sortie number RAF/106G/UK/929. English Heritage (RAF Photography).
  • Site type: Airfield
  • Known as: Theberton/Saxmundham



Event Location Date Description


Sizewell, Leiston, Suffolk IP16, UK 13 December 1943 Aircraft struck a tree on take-off. Pilot baled out near Sizewell and aircraft crashed into the English Channel two miles east of Sizewell, UK.


Date26 Jul 2015 20:00:05

Lee Cunningham 25-Jul-2015. Added NEW aircraft entry based on "Lossed of the 8th & 9th Air Forces", Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.