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Lt. William W Patton Jr. 3rd Scouting Force, ex 94th & 388th Bomb Groups. Lt. Patton was killed in action on 15 January 1945 when his P-51D 44-15331 CL-# crashed at La Longueville, France. The wreck, complete with Lt. Patton's remains were discovered some 56 years later on 22 February 2001. See following photos. On 15 January 1945, Lt. Patton, who had joined the Scouting Force only 3 weeks prior to the fatal a mission, was flying as wingman to Lt. Bryan Booker on a mission to Munich. On the return leg, the pair were down to about 1200 feet when fog was encountered. Booker alerted Patton by radio that he was turning left; Patton did not respond. Booker did not see or hear from him again. Assuming that Patton had landed in France, no action was taken until the 18 January when a Missing Air Crew Report was issued. In the report, Lt. Booker stated that he believed that Lt. Patton had become disoriented and spun in and evidence at the crash site supports that assumption. Early newspaper reports identified the aircraft and pilot as "bullet riddled," a claim that even then seemed highly questionable given the altitude and weather conditions leading to the crash.

Photo: courtesy of Patton Family

 

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