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Charles J McClain

Military

Assigned to 359BS, 303BG, 8AF USAAF. 30+missions. On 26-Nov-43 mission to Bremen, B-17 42-5177 'Fast Worker Mk II' was attacked by ME109 and made emergency landing at Attlebridge, Norfolk. RTD

Shot down by flak and crashed SW of Abbeville, FR on a mission to Bois-Coquered, FR on 28-Feb-44 in B-17 42-5306. Prisoner of War (POW). Was captured by a German squad and three days later escaped. Evaded through France, climbed the Pyrenees Mts. and returned to Allied control on 6 June 1944. EVD

Awards: DFC, SS, PH, WWII Victory, EAME.

Post War: Remained in the USAF serving in Korean and Vietnam conflicts.

Service

People

  • Noel Shoup

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 359BS, 303BG, 8AF USAAF. 21 x combat missions. Failed to Return (FTR) Bois-Coquered in B-17F 42-5306; Shot down by flak and crashed SW of Abbeville 28-Feb-44. Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 2863 Awards: AM (2OLC), PH

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Units served with

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force


    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 303rd Bomb Group

    303rd Bomb Group

    Group
    The 303rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated on 3-Feb-1942 at Pendleton Field, Oregon. They assembled at Gowen Field, Idaho on 11-February 1942 where it conducted flight training until 12-Jun-1942. The Group then moved to Alamogordo Field, New...

  • 359th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-5177 'FAST WOMAN' aka 'FAST WORKER Mk II'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 6/10/42; New Castle 19/10/42; Assigned 359BS/303BG [BN-U] Molesworth 1/2/43; battle damaged Bremen 28/11/43 with Harry Bolsover, Co-pilot: Chas Rice, Navigator: Byron Clark, Bombardier: Chas McLain, Flight engineer/top turret gunner:...

  • 42-5306

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Tulsa 16/11/42; New Castle 9/12/43; Assigned 367BS/306BG [GY-P] Thurleigh 1/1/43; in taxi accident at base with Warren Grey 27/6/43; transferred 359BS/303BG [BN-Q] Molesworth 25/9/43; Missing in Action Pas De Calais 28/2/44 with Noel Shoup,...

Associated Place

  • Molesworth

    Military site : airfield
    Molesworth was one of the early stations used by the Eighth Air Force in the UK, first occupied by the 15th Bomb Squadron’s Douglas Bostons in June 1942. Built in 1940 and extended and improved in 1942, Molesworth is most associated with the 303rd...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Corona, California 12 September 1919

Son of Mary McClain.

Enlisted 13 October 1941
Speciality training San Angelo, TX May 1943

Completed bombardier training San Angelo, TX.

Based Molesworth November 1943 – 1944

Assigned to 359BS, 303BG, 8AF USAAF.

Medal award 26 November 1943

Gallantry in action on Bremen mission, awarded Silver Star.

Medal award 20 February 1944

Awarded DFC.

Medal award 28 February 1944

Awarded Purple Heart for wounds received.

Blown out of A/C POW SW of Abbeville, France 28 February 1944

Bois-Coquered in B-17F 42-5306; Shot down by flak and crashed SW of Abbeville 28-Feb-44. POW. MACR 2863

Prisoner of War (POW) Abbeville, France 28 February 1944 – 3 March 1944

Prisoner of War (POW). Escaped captivity.

Evaded capture Pyrenees 3 March 1944 – 6 June 1944

Evaded through France, climbed the Pyrenees Mountains and returned to Allied control on 6-Jun-44.

Discharged USAAF 31 August 1968

Honourable discharge.

Died Rockledge, FL 22 May 2003
Buried Florida Memorial Gardens Rockledge, Brevard County, FL 26 May 2003

Florida Memorial Gardens
Rockledge,
Brevard County, FL
McClain Family Estate lot 7 space 1

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
08 November 2020 14:08:34 Al_Skiff Changes to biography and events
Sources

https://www.fold3.com/image/28743291?terms=42-5306
https://www.fold3.com/record/12345983-charles-j-mcclain
https://www.fold3.com/record/619569541-charles-mcclain-1919
Air Forces Escape & Evasion Society By Air Forces Escape and Evasion Society
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/41305506/charles-j-mcclain
Removed # in A/C serial to aid clarity and maintain consistency

Date Contributor Update
19 October 2020 20:04:35 jmoore43 Changes to biography
Sources

Added a "-" to the A/C type in the "Summary biography" to aid clarity & consistency.

Date Contributor Update
14 October 2019 19:24:17 Al_Skiff Changes to highest rank, biography, awards, events and unit associations
Sources

https://www.fold3.com/image/28743291?terms=42-5306
https://www.fold3.com/record/12345983-charles-j-mcclain
https://www.fold3.com/record/619569541-charles-mcclain-1919
Air Forces Escape & Evasion Society By Air Forces Escape and Evasion Society
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/41305506/charles-j-mcclain

Date Contributor Update
23 August 2017 13:46:01 Lucy May Changes to service number and biography
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / http://303rdbg.com/rost-m.html#M, Losses of Eighth and Ninth Air Forces Vol I by Bishop & Hey pp. 387

Date Contributor Update
23 August 2017 13:26:09 Lucy May Changes to events
Sources

Corrected date of death. See: https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=41305506

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:05:46 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 2863, Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces, AFEES

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