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Herbert Ross Rutland Jr


Herb Rutland served as a pilot with the 356th Fighter Group, flying missions out of Martlesham Heath, England.

Near the end of the war, Herb was strafing a German machine gun position. He was sure the gun was shooting at him because he could see the muzzle flashes, but when he pulled out of his dive, he flew through some of the debris his bullets had kicked up from the ground and his plane developed mechanical trouble (possibly due to loss of oil pressure) and he made an emergency landing at what had been a German base, but was now in Allied hands. After Landing, Herb found the oil cooler had been damaged, but he didn’t know if it was from a German bullet or a rock. So he didn’t know if he had been shot down by the enemy or himself. That was the only damage to the plane, until a guy in a jeep with an antenna drove under the wing and the antenna damaged the wing.

Herb was in Paris, on his way back to his base, when the war in Europe ended.


Units served with

  • 356th Fighter Group

    356th Fighter Group

    The 356th Fighter Group flew 413 missions between 15 October 1943 and 7 May 1945 and suffered the highest ratio of losses to enemy aircraft claims of any Eighth Air Force Group. This gave the Group the reputation of being the 'hard luck' outfit. The...

  • 360th Fighter Squadron


Associated Place

  • Martlesham Heath

    Military site : airfield
    Opened in 1917 as home to the RFC Aeroplane Experimental Unit, Martlesham Heath became well known during the 1920s-30s as home to the Aircraft and Armament Experimental Establishment. Used as an RAF fighter station from 1939, with only a grass airfield...


Event Location Date
Born Tennessee, USA 22 March 1922
Lived in Chattanooga, TN, USA 1930
Died Newtown, PA 18940, USA 5 July 1995
Buried Forest Hills, Florence, AL 35633, USA

Greenview Memorial Gardens
Forest Hills
Lauderdale County
Alabama, USA
Plot: Garden of Faith


Date Contributor Update
20 April 2021 13:14:41 Emily Changes to biography

Story about Herb's final mission provided by Bill Morgan, Nephew of Herbert Rutland

Date Contributor Update
01 March 2018 12:50:04 Lucy May Changes to biography, events, place associations and media associations

Date Contributor Update
17 July 2016 03:25:15 466thHistorian Changes to middlename, highest rank, biography, events and media associations

Chris Brassfield

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:12:56 AAM AAM ingest

356th FG Assoc data / Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list