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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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8th Air Force
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

Serial: 42-67368

Code: Unknown

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


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.

Burial details:

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.

RS 02.09.2022 - Review and update

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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, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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Last Modified: 02 September 2022, 10:31

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