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
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."
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.