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Archive Report: US Forces
1941 - 1945

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.

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USAAF Crest
17.11.1944 No. 366 Fighter Group 1st Lt. Gus N. Girlinghouse

Operation: Armed Reconnaissance

Date: November 17th 1944 (Friday)

Unit: No. 366th Fighter Group

Type: P47D Thunderbolt

Serial: 42-26139

Code: A8-

Base: Laon France (USAAF ALG. A-70)

Location: Meroderwald-Hürtgenwald, Germany

Pilot: 1st Lt. Gus Newman Girlinghouse Jr. 0-401572 USAAF Age 24. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS: 

Lt. Gus Girlinghouse attacked a column of tanks and trucks along a road near a castle (Merode) on the edge of the Hurtgen Forest, shot down by Flak, he crashed in the Merodewald (Merode Forest). 

Weather: 10/10 cloud coverage - 4,500 ft ceiling - 5 miles visibility.

1st Lt. Gus Girlinghouse and grave (courtesy Roland Heddins)

Castle Merode 1944 - 2014 (courtesy Joerg Dietsche/Fedor deVries)

Report by 1st. Lt. Eber R. Simpson:

"Lt.’s Alderman and Girlingouse were flying Red 3 and 4. I was Foxhound Red Leader. As we neared the target area we received many accurate bursts of heavy flak which spread out the squadron somewhat. Immediately after this primary burst of flak, I located the target, so I dove on it announcing ’Tally Ho’. 
As I pulled off the target I tried to observe the hits of the remainder of Red Flight. It was then that I missed them. The last time I actually saw Red 3 and 4 was just prior to the initial concentrated heavy flak, mentioned above. It was my belief that they must have been hit by that flak. 
Two planes were reported ‘going into the overcast’, but this is believed to be in error. It was probably Red Leader and Red 2 in the haze just under the clouds.
At no time did Red Flight enter the overcast."

Burial details: 

1st Lt Gus Newman Girlinghouse Jr. Heard Cemetery Manifest Catahoula Parish Louisiana, USA. Date of birth 4th December 1919.

Researched by Michel Beckers for Aircrew Remembered, December 2014 for relatives.

Acknowledgments: Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives and Fred Paradie - Paradie Archive (both on this site), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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Last Modified: 18 December 2014, 23:03