Michael's War

Flying accidents in U.S. service

If you set out to be a pilot, there's one thing you can be sure of: no mistake will ever be forgotten. (Probably not forgiven, either, but that's beyond the scope of this article.) The invaluable Zeke Striker has gone through the U.S. Army Air Forces files and pulled the names of the AVG Flying Tigers who pranged an airplane during their military service (not counting the AVG, of course). Note that some of the later crashes, like Jesse Crookshank's, were the result of enemy action over occupied territory.

Matthew Kuykendall crashed a Curtiss P-35 while assigned to Barksdale Field LA, 20 Jan 1941

Albert Criz (one of the AVGs who quit before the war broke out) crashed a Curtiss P-40 at Selfridge Field MI, 10 Feb 1941 (and what's more, he did it again on 28 Feb!)

Robert (Moose) Moss likewise crashed a P-40 at Selfridge, 13 Mar 1941

Paul Greene crashed a North American BT-9 trainer at Randolph Field TX, 24 Mar 1941

The hapless Albert Criz did it again on 25 Mar 1941, though for variety's sake the crash site is shown as Memphis TN

Kenneth Merritt crashed a P-40 at Hamilton Field CA, 3 Apr 1941

Peter Atkinson crashed a P-40 at Mitchel Field NY, 5 Apr 1941 (Atkinson was killed in training at Toungoo)

Eugene Watson (another pilot who quit the group before the war broke out) crashed a Bell P39C Aircobra while stationed at Selfridge Field, 5 May 1941; the crash site was "7 miles S of Mt Clemens, MI"

Ken Merritt did it again at Hamilton Field, 20 May 1941

Robert Little crashed a Martin B-10B at Mitchel Field, 21 May 1941

And so did Eugene Watson do it again, a P-35 at Selfridge Field, 25 Jun 1941

Robert Brouk pranged a Curtiss P-40E while stationed at Orlando FL, 19 Dec 1942 after returning from China; the crash site was Kissimmee

And here he is again, Eugene Watson, now trying his hand at bombers; he crashed a North American B-25B at Fort-Lamy (now Ndjamena, Chad), 4 Apr 1943

William Sykes (former AVG ground crewman) crashed a Vultee BT-13 trainer at Lancaster CA, 19 May 1943--and a Lockheed RP-322 (recce version of the Lightning fighter) while stationed at Williams Field AZ, 14 Aug 1943; the crash site was near Casa Grande

Donald Rodewald (another ground crewman who became a pilot) crashed a North American P-51B at Eglin Field FL, 19 Oct 1943

Jesse Crookshanks (again, a former ground crewman) crashed a Boeing B-17F in France, 7 Jan 1944, becoming a prisoner of war shortly thereafter

Albert Criz did in the end manage to get to China, crashing a North American P-51B at Tanchuk, 12 Jul 1944

Charles Bond crashed a Republic P-47 at Home Farm, Cruckton, England, 8 Aug 1944

Harry Bolster (flight instructor who joined the AVG combat squadrons in the spring of 1942) crashed an experimental Fisher P-75A while stationed at Eglin Field, 10 Oct 1944

Estes Swindle (another AVG dropout who wound up in China) crashed a Curtiss C-46A at Hsinching, 10 Oct 1944

Albert Probst crashed a Douglas A-26C while stationed at Love Field TX, 13 Nov 1944; the crash site was in New York State

Carson Roberts (former ground crewman) crashed a Douglas C-47A at St. Chamond, France, 1 Nov 1944

William Reed crashed a Curtiss P-40N at Liangshan, China, 19 Dec 1944, killed in action

And Don Rodewalk crashed a P-51D while stationed at Eglin Field Fl, 31 Mar 1945; the crash site was in Wisconsin

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