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Neil Van Wyk

Military

Captain Neil Van Wyk flew with both the 336th and 335th Fighter Squadrons.
One of the aircraft he flew was P-51B Mustang named 'Flying Dutchman'.

1-Jun-44 Designated Flight Commander B Flight
14-Jul-44 Designated Squadron Operations Officer
29-Nov-44 Designated Flight Commander C Flight

Awards: DFC, AM (7OLC), WWII Victory, EAME (4 x Battle Stars), American Campaign and Defense Medals.

Service

Units served with

  • 4th Fighter Group

    4th Fighter Group

    Group
    Some of the pilots of the 4th Fighter Group had seen many hours of combat by the time they joined the 4th Fighter Group as they had volunteered with the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Royal Air Force. The three 'Eagle Squadrons' of RAF Fighter...

  • 335th Fighter Squadron

    335th Fighter Squadron

    Squadron
    The 335th Fighter Squadron was the offspring of No. 121 (Eagle) Squadron RAF. Formed on 21 May 1941, No. 121 was the second of the three Eagle Squadrons composed of American volunteers flying out of England. They were known as the "Chiefs" and were...

  • 336th Fighter Squadron

    336th Fighter Squadron

    Squadron
    The 336th Fighter Squadron was constituted by the War Department on 22 august 1942, and was activated at Bushey Hall, England, on 12 September. It had been designated as No. 133 (Eagle) Squadron, and was made up of American volunteers to the Royal Air...

Aircraft

  • 41-6194 'Death Takes a Holiday'

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    Assigned to 336FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred 53FS, 36FG, 9AF USAAF.

  • 42-103332

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 336FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) bombing mission to Rouen area. A/C hit by flak in engine attempting to bomb train in ravine, engine oil spilling from nose to tail. A/C abandoned Lyons area. Pilot 1st Lt Oscar Lajeunesse baled...

  • 44-15330

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned 359FS, 356FG 8AF USAAF 9-Oct-45 on charge. Transferred to 335FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF 26-Oct-44.

  • 43-6772 'Flying Dutchman'

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 336FS 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 434FS 479FG 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 555FTS, 495FTG, 8AF USAAF.

  • 43-24848 'Flying Dutchman'

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned 336FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Robert L Gilbert Crew Chief assigned.

  • 42-103332 Yipee Joe!

    P-51 Mustang
    shot down with Lajeunesse on second DDay mission by flak MACR 5610

Missions

  • 428

    21 June 1944
    Ruhland, Germany - The target, south of Berlin, bombed by 114 fortresses with an escort of 70 Mustangs went off as planned but not before the Germans destroyed 43 B-17's and damaged 26. Landed in Russia.

Associated Place

  • Debden

    Military site : airfield
    RAF Debden, construction of which began in 1935, is perhaps most famous as a Battle of Britain fighter airfield, partly responsible for the defence of London in 1940. In 1942 it was also home to three RAF 'Eagle Squadrons’ of volunteer American pilots...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Paterson, NJ 19 March 1914

Son of John Arnold Van Wyk.

Based Debden 10 October 1943 – 8 November 1944

Assigned to 336FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF.

Promoted Debden, Saffron Walden, Essex CB11, UK 10 December 1943

Promoted to 2nd Lieutenant.

Promoted Debden, Saffron Walden, Essex CB11, UK 13 February 1944

Promoted to 1st Lieutenant.

Promoted Debden, Saffron Walden, Essex CB11, UK 10 June 1944

Promoted to Captain.

Transferred Debden, Saffron Walden, Essex CB11, UK 8 November 1944 – 27 February 1945

Transferred to 335FS, 4Fg, 8AF USAAF. End Tour of Duty (ETD).

Died Naples, FL, USA 8 February 1979
Buried Trinity-By-The-Cove Episcopal Church Cemetery Naples, Collier County, FL 11 February 1979

Trinity-By-The-Cove Episcopal Church Cemetery
Naples,
Collier County, Florida

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
26 November 2021 15:42:02 Al_Skiff Changes to biography, events and unit associations
Sources

https://www.fold3.com/image/675662303
https://www.fold3.com/record/14634321/neil-vanwyk-social-security-death-...
https://www.fold3.com/record/622885088/neil-vanwyk-1914-veterans-affairs...
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/175438359/neil-van_wyk

Date Contributor Update
03 June 2018 01:23:50 fugari Changes to role, biography, awards, events and media associations
Sources

JCook Photo Collection & Archives

Date Contributor Update
11 March 2016 15:32:49 Al_Skiff Changes to biography and events
Sources

http://www.4thfightergroupassociation.org/uploads/8/2/0/3/8203817/336_va...

Date Contributor Update
11 March 2016 14:32:28 Al_Skiff Changes to awards, unit associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

http://www.4thfightergroupassociation.org/uploads/8/2/0/3/8203817/336_va...

Date Contributor Update
31 March 2015 19:24:47 apollo11 Changes to biography
Sources

Personal research & 'The Debden Eagles' by Garry L. Fry.

Date Contributor Update
22 March 2015 19:36:29 apollo11 Changes to surname
Sources

Personal research & 'The Debden Warbirds' by Frank Speer.

Date Contributor Update
22 March 2015 19:35:00 apollo11 Changes to surname
Sources

Personal research & 'The Debden Warbirds' by Frank Speer.

Date Contributor Update
22 March 2015 18:55:17 apollo11 Changes to nickname, highest rank, role, biography, events and place associations
Sources

Personal research & 'The Debden Warbirds' by Frank Speer.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:20:29 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list

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