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Finding a P-38 pilot who crashed near my hometown in Germany?

Article about: Hello guys, I know this is something of a long shot, but I was wondering if anybody could help me with the spare informations Ive got. Also a little bit of storytime first, if anyone is inte

  1. #1

    Default Finding a P-38 pilot who crashed near my hometown in Germany?

    Hello guys,
    I know this is something of a long shot, but I was wondering if anybody could help me with the spare informations Ive got.
    Also a little bit of storytime first, if anyone is interested lol.

    So im from rural bavaria, near the little town of Mindelheim. Back on the 27th of February 1945 atleast two Lockheed P-38 Lightnings attacked a military train which was standing in a forest close to the town of Mindelheim.
    The first P-38 blew up the steam engines boiler, blinding his fellow P-38 pilot in the process who then crashed with his plane into the nearby forest, killing the pilot instantly. This was seen by a local boy who has sadly passed away now, but I recall him once claiming that the pilot was a young pilot from california. The pilot was first buried in the local cemetary but then reburied by the us forces after the war.

    (We have also found the exact location of the crash by circumstance, since a part of the M2 browning armament was washed up by heavy rainfall, sparking my interest in the first place. Weve also since found a lot of plane parts digging around the place, but Im having a hard time identifying these, even with the help of the aircorps library, if anyone is interested Id also share some pictures, but back to the topic)

    Is there any chance identifying the pilot by just the location of his crash, his home state (if that info is correct) and the time he was killed?

    Thanks as always,

    Sebastian

  2. #2
    MAP
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    Default

    Welcome Sebastian,

    Not much to go on (like the unit) but we have some great researchers on the forum. Hopefully they can help out
    "Please", Thank You" and proper manners appreciated

    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

  3. #3

    Default

    Hi there.

    Here is a crash list of Lightnings, but nothing matches up.

    Aviation Safety Network > > ASN Aviation Safety Database results

    Kind regards,

    Will.

  4. #4

    Default

    It would be easier to trace the pilot if you find an identifiable piece of the aircraft. Anything with a serial number beginning 44- or 45- might help. On location alone it's not so easy.

  5. #5

    Default

    Ive found some serial numbers identifying parts of the ailerons, cockpit parts, some capacitors with us company names on them, but as I clean more of the parts, some more serial numbers might show up. Havent found ones with an obvious year stamp in them tho.
    Thanks for the help so far, always eager to find out more

  6. #6

    Default

    Please post any parts that we might be able to help ID with you. Thanks for posting.

  7. #7

    Default

    The parts weve recovered so far are mostly very small (we found only two piecec bigger than a dinnerplate so far), this is probably due to the fact that the plane hit the trees before it crashed into the ground, meaning that its parts spread over a big area and it got slowed down, so I think that a lot of the wreck was still at surface level and didnt bury itself, so scrap hunters probably tore it apart at the wars end.

    Also im currently not at home until tomorrow, so the pictures I got for you were sent to a friend and have to do for now.
    As stated the identified parts have been a deflection roller hold for the aileron cables, a pneumatic/hydraulic part including a schrader valve belonging to the landing gear, some Sangamo USA capacitors, the top cover of a Browning M2, hydraulic pipes, cables for the on board electronics, some pieces of the outer aluminium (you can spot im german) skin and 50 cal ammo.


    Finding a P-38 pilot who crashed near my hometown in Germany?

    Finding a P-38 pilot who crashed near my hometown in Germany?

    Finding a P-38 pilot who crashed near my hometown in Germany?

    Finding a P-38 pilot who crashed near my hometown in Germany?

    Finding a P-38 pilot who crashed near my hometown in Germany?

    Finding a P-38 pilot who crashed near my hometown in Germany?

    The last image contains the drawing of the aileron pulley / deflection roller stiffener, which picture you can find above with the matching serial number

    Finding a P-38 pilot who crashed near my hometown in Germany?

    Again, not much to work with, so Im sorry for that

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