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Cecil Edward Meierhoff

Military

Graduate of Florence High School, Class of 1937. He attended the Kansas State Teachers College in Emporia, Kansas. He was a Phi Sigma Epsilon Rush Captain. Cecil left college after his third year, because he wanted to become a fighter pilot. He jumped the border into Canada and joined the Royal Air Force (RAFVR).

After training to be a fighter pilot in Canada, Cecil sailed for England from Montreal on 4 June 1941. After more training in England, he was assigned to the newly formed Number 133 Squadron at RAF Coltishall in England, United Kingdom on 1 August. No. 133 was the third Eagle Squadron (Americans) to be formed and they flew British fighter aircraft (Hawker Hurricanes) with British ranks. Pilot Officer Meierhoff moved with No. 133 to RAF Duxford, England on 16 August before arriving RAF Eglington, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland in early October. Here they received Supermarine Spitfires to fly. The new year 1942, saw a move back to England, RAF Kirton-in-Lindsey in Lincolnshire on 2 January. In April, Cecil returned home for three weeks leave and afterwards reported to Canada to train British fighter pilots in aerial combat tactics. Here he received his promotion to Flight Lieutenant.

In October 1943, he applied for and was granted a transfer to the United States Army Air Forces with the rank of Captain. He continued to be an instructor of tactical aerial combat instruction. First at Mitchel Field, Long Island, New York and then at Bluethenthal Field, Wilmington, North Carolina. In March 1945, Captain Meierhoff volunteered for a transfer to the Pacific. This was granted and he was assigned to the 21st Fighter Squadron, 413th Fighter Group, 301st Fighter Wing, 20th Air Force based on Ie Shima Island, Okinawa, Japan as a Flight Leader.

Cecil flew P-47N-2-RE Thunderbolt tail number 44-87997. On 22 July 1945, he was leading a combat mission as Hootowl Blue Flight. They took off at 0900 (9am) to conduct a Strike Mission against Japanese forces at Wangpoo River, Shanghai, China. At 1004 (10:04am) just 200 miles from Ie Shima over the East China Sea, Cecil's P-47 developed an oil leak and caught fire. He had to bail from the aircraft and his chute was seen to deploy, but was lost in the clouds. After the rest of Hootowl Blue Flight got down below the clouds, Cecil could not be spotted, they kept widening their search circles to no avail. Search aircraft were dispatched and one reported seeing a pilot in a Goodyear (survival raft) and was OK, so the remaining flight members returned to Ie Shima. He was never rescued, no statements of rescue flights in the Missing Aircrew Report [#14788], so as to why remains a mystery.

Service

Units served with

  • 413th Fighter Group
  • No. 133 'Eagle' Squadron

    No. 133 'Eagle' Squadron

    Squadron
    'On 1 August 1941, No. 133 reformed at Coltishall as the third 'Eagle' Squadron manned by American personnel. Equipped with Hurricanes it became operational at the end of September. The next month the Squadron moved to Northern Ireland, returning to...

Associated Place

  • Biggin Hill

    Military site : airfield
    An RAF Station with US lodger units. USAAF Spitfires and P-38s were attached to RAF No 11 Group stations in mid-1942 for training; also used for special operations by British and US forces.

  • Duxford

    Military site : airfield
    RAF Duxford, now a museum and still a working airfield, was operated by the USAAF from 1943 to 1945. The base was briefly the home of the 350th Fighter Group in late 1942, but it was not until April 1943 that it became a fully American station when the...

  • Eglinton

    Military site : airfield
    Built for the RAF in 1940-41, Eighth Air Force lodger units moved in in 1942. The 52nd Fighter Group and 82nd Fighter Group used the airfield, before the Royal Navy moved in and occupied the base until 1959. Partly closed, it was still used by the...

  • Eagle Squadrons Memorial

    Other location

Events

Event Location Date
Born Marion County, KS, USA 5 December 1919

Born - 5th Dec 1919
Marion County, Kansas, USA.

Joined RAFVR Canada 1940

Joined Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.

Assigned Biggin Hill, London SE19 3HY, UK 1 August 1941 – April 1942

Assigned 133 [Eagle] Sqn RAF.

Instructor Ottawa, ON, Canada May 1942 – October 1943

Instructor. Teaching aerial combat tactics to trainee pilots.

Transferred Long Island, New York, USA October 1943 – March 1945

Transferred to USAAF. Instructor.

Assigned Iejima, Japan March 1945 – 22 April 1945

Volunteered for the Pacific. Assigned to 301st FW, 413th FG, 20th AF.

Died East China Sea 22 April 1945

Leading a combat mission as Hootowl Blue Flight. They took off at 0900 (9am) to conduct a Strike Mission against Japanese forces at Wangpoo River, Shanghai, China. At 1004 (10:04am) just 200 miles from Le Shima over the East China Sea, Cecil's P-47 developed an oil leak and caught fire. He had to bail from the aircraft and his chute was seen to deploy, but was lost in the clouds. MIA/KIA.

Buried Honolulu, HI, USA May 1945

Tablets of the Missing at Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
09 April 2018 20:18:54 Bombay Changes to biography
Sources

personal knowledge

Date Contributor Update
26 February 2016 13:01:38 Al_Skiff Changes to unit associations and place associations
Sources

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=89415869
http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/src/dbmsn.asp?SN=44-87997&Submit6=Go

Date Contributor Update
12 November 2015 11:54:08 Al_Skiff Created entry with surname, middlename, firstname, nationality, service number, highest rank, role, biography, events, unit associations and place associations
Sources

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=89415869
http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/src/dbmsn.asp?SN=44-87997&Submit6=Go

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