1/Lt. Phillips Eastman Jr.
1/Lt. Phillips Eastman Jr.
338th FS - 02 October 1944 - 13 January 1945 (Prisoner of War)
P-51D 44-63245 "Aruba Belle"
Born in San Luis Obispo, California, 16th November 1919.
ASN - O-26082
02 October 1944 - Joined the 338th Fighter Squadron
29 November 1944 - Awarded the Air Medal
MACR No. 11856
Phillips Eastman, a 1943 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, recalls his experience: On my first pass at Giebelstadt Airdrome I shot up and badly damaged two JU-88s on the ground. On my second pass I hit a parked FW-190 and it erupted in a ball of fire. Leaving the airdrome I spotted an Me-262 crossing in front of me from left to right. I fired from 45 degrees to tail dose in and started a fire on his right side; he crashed." Nb. Mission summary report by Capt. Brooks Liles confirmed Eastman's claim
On my third pass at the airdrome I was strafing hangers when I took an exploding shell in the left side of my cockpit. I was hit in my left arm, and my left flight suit leg was shredded and the throttle control was now inoperative. I headed for home, but in a few minutes the coolant ran out and the engine overheated and quit.
I bailed out and was captured immediately. The Germans bandaged my left arm. The next day they took me to see the large crater my P-51 made. They then took me to an airdrome, (Giebelstadt from the looks of it; I didn't ask), on my way to Dulag Luft.
1/LT. Kenneth C. Schneider reported: "Just before we hit Giebelstadt Airdrome, we consolidated our three flights because of several aborts. Lt. Eastman was 9th man and was tacked on the flight I was in. We strafed the airdrome and as I was making my second pass I heard Lt. Eastman say he had been hit and might have to bail out. When I finished my pass I saw a Me-262 and started to chase him. I looked around and spotted Lt. Eastman was chasing the same jet. We chased him east for about three minutes. We could not catch the jet so Eastman called and said he was heading out on 270 degrees and repeated that he might have to bail out. He was then heading north and I told him. He then headed 270 degrees at 11,000 feet. I climbed up to get a fix for him but could not get one. After that I could not contact him on the radio and could not find him again. The last time I saw him he was heading 270 degrees about 290 mph and about 15 miles west of Giebelstadt Airdrome. He said that he had destroyed three E/A and to tell his wife he was OK and that he was bailing out. This occurred about 1310 hours, 13 January 1945."
German report J 2818 records Lt. Eastman's capture at the crash 15 km west of Heilbronn, south of Stettin. He was eventually sent to Stalag Luft I, Barth, Germany.
Reproduced with kind permission of Mr. Robert M. Littlefield from the author's book Double Nickel - Double Trouble
Lt. Phillips Eastman Jr.
(Robert M. Littlefield)
(Nb. Photo opens in new window. Close window to return to his page.)
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