1/Lt. John R Eskridge

(Robert M. Littlefield)

1/Lt. John R Eskridge

338th FS - 14 June 1944 - 26 August 1944 (Prisoner of War)

Assigned Aircraft

P-51D 44-14014

Mission History

Not Known

Mission List
55th FG Mission # Date Target
203 10 August 1944 Railroads - France
220 26 August 1944 Ranger Rodeo - France
Air Scores
Ground Scores
Score Detail 10 August 1944  Me-109 destroyed (air) Damville
Notes Entered service from Elmore City, Oklahoma.
ASN - O-760270
14 June 1944 - Joined the 338th Fighter Squadron
10 July 1944 - Detached Service to 363rd FS, 357th Fighter Group
04 August 1944 - Promoted from 2nd Lieutenant to 1st Lieutenant
26 August 1944 - Prisoner of War
MACR No. 08535
1/Lt. William J. Ingram reported: "I was flying Acorn White 3 and Lt. Eskridge was flying my wing as Acorn White 4.  About 1030 hours on 26 August 1944, we were approaching Ludwigshafen, Germany, on our planned course at 21,000 feet. We were already in the target area when Lt. Hailey, Acorn Yellow leader, called on the R/T saying that Acorn White 4, Lt. Eskridge, was smoking badly. I glance back, and, seeing that he was in trouble, asked Lt. Eskridge whether he'd like to go home. Without replying he broke off and proceeded to the NW. He jettisoned his belly tanks, and called to me to give him a safe course home. I gave him a steer of 290 degrees and flew with him on that course for 10 to 15 minutes. I observed Lt. Eskridge's RPMs to be rapidly falling off, causing him to lose altitude. At one time he called up saying his engine was getting too hot and he figured that he'd have to leave the ship. I encouraged him to hang on as long as possible. However, when he had dropped to 5,500 feet, he rolled his ship over and dropped out. His chute opened immediately and the ship plunged directly into a railroad track. Lt. Eskridge landed in a small village.

"I continued on home and upon arriving judged the location of Lt. Eskridge's landing to be 4945 degrees N - 0725 degrees E. I attribute the loss of the aircraft and pilot to material failure, since there was no enemy activity up to that point."

German J 2001 reported Lt. Eskridge's capture the same day in Soertern, district of Birkenfeld. His squadron received word that he was a POW January 31, 1945. He was interrogated at Oberursel, by Hanns Scharff, on September 10, 1944 and sent to Stalag Luft I, Barth.

Reproduced with kind permission of Mr. Robert M. Littlefield from the author's book Double Nickel - Double Trouble


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