James K Kunkle


James Kunkle, was a P-38 and P-51 fighter pilot credited with two aerial combat victories. He joined the 401st Fighter Squadron, 370th Group of the 9th Air Force and carried out 36 combat missions in support of the Normandy landing operations and bombing missions in Germany and the Ardennes. After taking off from Roye/ Amy, 26 miles southeast of Amiens on Sept. 16, 1944, he was attacked near Aachen, Germany, after having attacked two enemy aircraft in order to protect the formation in which he was flying. He was badly burned but was able to open his parachute and was rescued by soldiers from the U.S. Army's 1st Division. Kunkle was one of three American D-Day veterans personally honored by President Barack Obama and French President Sarkozy in ceremonies at Normandy, France in June 2009.


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Units served with



Event Location Date Description


Santa Ana, CA, USA 15 March 1943


Pennsylvania, USA
Los Angeles County, CA, USA


Date22 Sep 2017 11:08:54
ContributorLucy May
ChangesCreated entry with surname, middlename, firstname, nationality, service number, highest rank, role, biography, events, unit associations and place associations

Correspondence with John Mollison, aviation writer, artist and filmmaker and producer of the on-demand show, "Old Guys and Their Airplanes.". See: https://vimeo.com/233730429


NARA enlistment record: https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record-detail.jsp?dt=893&mtch=7&cat=all&tf…