Trying to find information about my great uncle

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Joel109, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. Joel109

    Joel109 New Member

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    Hello. I'm new to this site and I'm not sure if this is the appropriate forum for my story, but here goes anyways. I am 34 years old and have been a big WW2 history buff since high school. I am interested in all aspects of the war and find it very facinating. I am most interested in the Nazi history of WW2, but please believe me when I say that I have no sympathy nor do I support Nazism in any way. Anyways, My grandpa was in the U.S. Navy during the war and was stationed in Hawaii, although it was after December 7th, 1941. As far as I know, he did not see any action. A few years before he died, we got to talking about the war and he told me something that I had not known before. His brother (my great uncle) was a P-47 Thunderbolt pilot with the 365th fighter squadron (Orange Tails). Anyways, my great uncle was on a mission over France in July of 1944 when he was jumped by about 50 ME-109's and FW-190's. He did not return to his base that day. I don't know if it was unusual to be jumped by that many enemy fighters in mid-1944, but my grandpa gave me a copy of the report that was filed when my great uncle Jay did not return from his mission, and the report clearly states 50 enemy fighters. Anyways, a French farmer saw my great uncles plane falling toward the ground and quickly ran out to the aircraft to see if my great uncle was still alive before the Germans got to him. He was dead before he hit the ground. My grandpa and this French farmer were in contact with each other until shortly before my grandpa died in 2005. The guy in France sent my grandpa photos and pieces of the aircraft through the years. The local community where my great uncle was shot down even made a hand painted dinner plate with his airplane, etc painted in great detail. I guess they have alot of respect for my great uncle. My great uncle is buried at Normandy. I forget what squadron shot down my great uncle, but my grandfather told me that he thinks he was able to figure out the name of the German pilot who shot my great uncle down. There is a book out titled "The 365th Fighter Squadron in World War II" by Kent Miller. In the book, my great uncle is mentioned as well as the squadron that shot him down. Anyways, I thought I would share this story about my great uncle, a man I never knew, but am extremely proud of and proud to share his name. His name was Jay Thomson and his ID was 0-674346. He was a First Lieutenant with the U.S. Army Air Forces, 365th Fighter Squadron, 358th Fighter Group. He died on July 14th, 1944 and is buried at the Normandy American cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, France. His grave location is Plot B, Row 13, Grave 13. Some of his awards were the Air Medal with 9 Oak Leak Clusters and the Purple Heart. He flew the P-47 Thunderbolt in 25 missions with 50 sorties. Does anyone know how I can go about getting more information on my great uncle?
     
  2. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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