These many years after the Second World War, there is great interest in aviation archaeology of the war. Many airmen and aircraft were lost in sky battles all around the world. Many went missing in action, with plane and/or pilot/crew vanishing.
Over the years, many missing men and machines have been found, and the work of volunteers and those interested in many countries continues.
Aviation Archaeologist Herr Klaus Deschner is one such man seeking to answer the mysteries left by the war. He has been involved in the investigation of crash sites for a number of years, and this week sent out an email advertisement that he now has a website operational. Called “Pilot fates in World War II, plane crashed within 30 km around Heidelberg” („Fliegerschicksale im zweiten Weltkrieg, Abstürze 30km um Heidelberg“ auf Deutsch), you can view it at:
Whether German, British, French or American, Mr. Deschner seeks to locate the missing and bring closure in work conducted all around the approximately 30 kilometer radius from the scenic city of Heidelberg. This includes pilots of the 371st Fighter Group.
Those 371st Fighter Group pilots who fell in that area around Heidelberg can be found on the website by selecting “Crashes” and then from the dropdown menu select “American Crashes.” From that another dropdown appears with aircraft types, and then select “P-47 Thunderbolt.”
Tabbing through the pages you will find information on the loss of the following men, all of which have been accounted for (none carried as still Missing In Action):
Nr. 14 Doctor S. B. Bridges, 406th Fighter Squadron
Nr. 34 John W. Leonard, 405th Fighter Squadron
Nr. 39 John B. Sullivan, 405th Fighter Squadron
Nr. 54 John W. Motherway, Jr., 406th Fighter Squadron
So we render a hand salute to Mr. Klaus Deschner for his remarkable efforts to find the missing Airmen of World War II and share the information about his activities! Please take a look at his website and let him know what you think.
P-47 crash, at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/16118167@N04/8647936865/
Heidelberg, at: http://www.britannica.com/place/Heidelberg