19.01.1944 13th Photographic Reconnaissance Sqn, Lockheed F-5B 42-67368, 2nd Lt. Earle Vann Skiff
Operation: Cross country flight
Date: 19th January 1944 (Wednesday)
Unit No. 13th Photographic Reconnaissance Sqn, 7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group, 8th Air ForceType: Lockheed F-5B
Base: Honington (Station #375), Suffolk
Location: Greenfield Farm at Watlington in Oxfordshire
Pilot: 2nd Lt. Earle Vann Skiff O-746201 USAAF Age 22. Killed
2nd Lt. Earle V. Skiff in his Lockheed F-5B
Note: The Lockheed F-5B Lightning was a reconnaissance aircraft based upon the P-38 Lightning
REASON FOR LOSS:
2nd Lt. Skiff took off in F-5B #42-67368 from Honington at about 09:30 hrs on the 19th January 1944 on a cross country flight to Mount Farm (Station #234) in Oxfordshire.
At 10:04 hrs the pilot requested a homing course from RAF Benson and was given a vector of 225 degrees and instructed to reduced to “Angels 3” which the pilot acknowledged. He was then given a vector of 227 degrees which was not acknowledged.
Note: The term "Angels" used by the RAF as an abbreviation for altitude in thousands of feet i.e. "Angels 3" was 3000 ft.
The aircraft had crashed at 10:05 hrs at Greenfield Farm at Watlington in Oxfordshire killing 2nd Lt. Skiff.
This tree can still be found at the crash site. It still caries the inscription, Clarence Abbot Laing. West Virginia. Dated the 20th Jan 1944, the day after the crash, it is believed to have been left by one of the US soldier's guarding the wreck.
Above the Forest Hill Cemetery
2nd Lt. Earle Vann Skiff. Initially interred at the Brookwood Cemetery, Plot N, Row 10, Grave 11. Repatriated and interred at the Forest Hill Cemetery, Birmingham, Alabama on the 9th January 1949. Born on the 9th June 1921 in Colorado. Son of Marion Earle and Moleta Fern (née Vann) Skiff. Husband to Elva Jean Trogola Skiff of Colorado Springs. He made his home with his aunt and uncle Mr & Mrs J.E. Maiken of Birmingham, Alabama, USA.
Above Clipping from The Birmingham News, dated Friday January 7th,1949
Originally researched by Aircrew Remembered. Reviewed and updated by Ralph Snape for Aircrew Remembered and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot.