19.09.1944 84th Fighter Squadron P47D Thunderbolt, 42-25985, WZ-C, 1st Lt. John Fee
Operation: Dive Bombing
Date: 19th September 1944 (Tuesday)
Unit: No. 84th Fighter Squadron 78th Fighter Group
Type: P47D 22RE Thunderbolt
Base: RAF Duxford, Cambridgeshire
Location: Zaltbommel, Holland
Pilot: 1st Lt. John Robert Fee O-2045056 USAAF Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Weather conditions were described as Heavy ground haze with limited visibility.
Statement provided by 2nd Lt. Richard Spooner on the incident:
“I was flying Shampoo Blue Four. I observed Shampoo Blue Leader (Lt. Fee) make a pass at a flak position near a bridge at Zaltbommel, Holland (4QE-2961) In pulling up off the bridge, he broke to the right violently and entered into a spin. At this time he was at about 1,000 ft. He did not bale out. The plane crashed into the river about a hundred yards from the bridge and disappeared beneath the water. I did not see anyone come up afterwards. The time was about 14:25 hrs on September 16th, 1944.
I was not close enough to notice whether or not he had been hit by flak, but as it was intense at that spot, I believe he had been hit.”
1st Lt. John Robert Fee. American War Cemetery, Margraten. Plot M, Row 1, Grave 8.
Researched by Michel Beckers for Aircrew Remembered, May 2015. With thanks to Michel for photograph of grave and Alan Zingheim for photo of pilot.