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James P Naughton


Killed in Action (KIA) when B-17G #43-38926 'Weary Willy' piloted by Lieutenant William J. Waldron was attacked by fighters



  • Oscar Eshleman

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot, Co-Pilot | 487th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA). B-17G #43-38926 'Weary Willy' Exploded in air after being hit by enemy aircraft fire.

  • William Waldron

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 487th Bomb Group
    On 24 Dec 1944, B-17G #43-38926 'Weary Willy' piloted by Lieutenant William J. Waldron was attacked by fighters and crashed in Belgium near where a tank battle raged. Waldron and Russell Neu survived and returned. ...

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Units served with

  • 487th Bomb Group

    487th Bomb Group

    The 487th Bomb Group began operations as preparations for D-Day were reaching their crescendo and played their part by bombing airfields in northern France. Like the 486th Bomb Group, the 487th switched to B-17 Flying Fortress for missions from 1...

  • 836th Bomb Squadron


  • 43-38926

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Lincoln 12/10/44; Grenier 22/10/44; Assigned 836BS/487BG Lavenham 2/12/44; Missing in Action Darmstadt 24/12/44 with ?; mid air coll with FW 190 en route target; crashed Belgium; Missing Air Crew Report 11675.


Associated Place

  • Lavenham

    Military site : airfield
    Lavenham was built as a standard USAAF bomber airfield, with fifty hardstandings, T2 hangars and 2,000 and 1,400 feet runways. John Laing and Son Ltd. carried out the work in 1943, and the airfield opened in April 1944. The 487th Bomb Group occupied...


Event Location Date
Born Cascade County, MT, USA 4 February 1924
Enlisted Pendleton, OR 97801, USA 13 December 1942
Died Rouvreux, 4140 Sprimont, Belgium 24 December 1944

After training, he was assigned as tail gunner on the heavy bomber crew of Lt William J. Waldron. The Waldron crew completed B-17 combat crew training at Ardmore, Oklahoma, and was assigned to the 836th Bomb Squadron of the 487th Bomb Group (Heavy) at Army Air Forces Station 137, near the village of Lavenham, Suffolk, England. The crew arrived at Station 137 by October 19, 1944, and became part of the 8th U.S. Army Air Force in Europe. There is a photo of S/Sgt Naughton with the Waldron Crew at Lavenham posted on the 487th Bomb Group website.

S/Sgt Naughton and five of his crew mates were killed in action on December 24, 1944, when their aircraft, B-17G 43-38926, was shot down by German fighters south of Liege, Belgium. Three men were blown clear and survived when the aircraft exploded in the air. The B-17 crashed near Rouvreux, Belgium, about 15 miles south of Liege. Here is the roster of the Waldron crew on December 24, 1944:

Buried Great Falls, MT, USA 1949

Mount Olivet Cemetery
Great Falls
Cascade County
Montana, USA
Plot: Military Section, Plot 33


Date Contributor Update
05 August 2016 22:52:00 466thHistorian Changes to service number, highest rank, events, person associations, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:14:49 AAM AAM ingest

Combat Chronology Supplement p. 535, The History of the 487th BG Roll of Honor pp. 302-5 and account pp 197-8 MACR 11675 / Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia /