WWII Veterans of the 412th Fighter Squadron, 373rd Fighter Group, 9th Air Force, USAAF

9th Air Force insignia

MACR 7171

Date: 19/Jul/44 Time: 1500 Location: 1 mile S.W. of Mervieilliers (S.W. of Janville) 40 km S.E. of Chartres
Pilot: HUNSBERGER Irving G.    1st Lieutenant
Organization: Location St 419   Air Force   Group 373rd   Squadron 412th
Mission: Departure St 419   Course: Chartres-Orleans   Destination: X 040920
Airplane: P-47 D-22   A.A.F. Serial Number 42-26002
Engine: R 2800-59   FP 000500
Weapons: a) 594998     b) 1022376    c) 599279    d) 1080989
Weapons: e) 1022398    f) 1021948    g) 1022395  h) 1021927
Witness: Elbridge BATES C. Capt.    saw crash
Circumstances: weather: 10/10 clouds  base 2500   Top 10000   visibility 5-6 miles

Statement:  Our Flight was Vectrie Blue, and Lt HUNSBERGER was flying in 2 position. As we made our left turn towards Etampes, at 1500, to begin our armed reconnaissance, Lt HUNSBERGER called telling of trouble with his propeller. He was unable to hold his altitude and position so I took the remainder of the flight down and asked him, over the radio, more about his trouble. It was inevitable that he could not continue to fly back to friendly territory so I instructed him to belly it in adjacent to the largest wooded area in the vicinity. The terrain was very flat and there were good fields to land in all directions. I lost sight of his ship at about 2000 feet because of the haze, and instructed my second element to give me top cover while I attempt to re-locate him. As I was searching for him I called for his position to which he answered that he was on the ground and all right. I then called him to abandon his ship and run away from that area to which he responded "Roger". Very shortly after that I spotted his ship, by a reflection from the sun, about three miles to the south. The airplane had made a normal belly landing, with its belly tank a short ways behind it. I immediately buzzed it and saw no one in it and noticed his parachute and some flying gear in the cockpit. After a second look, in the same manner, I made a third pass and fired a short burst about 50 yards short of the plane, and rocked my wings violently to warn several farmers or peasants that had congregated on a road nearby, in front of a farmhouse. On my next pass I fired about 80 rounds into the ship and it was burning fiercely when I left. I was unable to pinpoint the exact of the landing but believe it to be in the vicinity of Mervielliers. I saw a person running toward the farm house when I buzzed the plane and believe that it was Lt HUNSBERGER.

Elbridge C. BATES. Capt. A.C.

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last update: 12 Nov 04