1/Lt. Ernest Warren George
(Robert M. Littlefield)
1/Lt. Ernest Warren George
338th FS - States - 24 March 1944 (Prisoner of War)
Born in Dover, New Hampshire on 26 April 1922.
ASN - O-740167
01 December 1943 - Promoted from 2nd Lieutenant to 1st Lieutenant
20 December 1943 - Awarded the Air Medal
17 January 1944 - Awarded an Oak Leaf Cluster to the Air Medal
14 February 1944 - Awarded an Oak Leaf Cluster to the Air Medal
07 March 1944 - Awarded an Oak Leaf Cluster to the Air Medal
21 March 1944 - Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross
24 March 1944 - Prisoner of War
MACR No. 03384
Lt. George's wingman, 2/Lt. Frederick West, was directly under George's plane as West dropped his two belly tanks. This resulted in West's plane climbing slightly and cutting off George's boom, (tail) with his propeller. They both bailed out, near Nancy, France. Lt. George was taken prisoner and hospitalised with cuts on his head and a broken left arm. He was later sent to Oberursel and then to Stalag Luft III.
(Reproduced with the kind permission of Mr. Robert M. Littlefield, from the author's book, Double Nickel, Double Trouble.)
27 November 2009 - Passed away
|Memories||Ernest W. George's Obituary
'Lt. Col. Ernest Warren George, USAF Ret., Neosho, died Friday, November 27, 2009, at his home, following a short illness. He was born April 26, 1922, in Dover, New Hampshire, to Frank Pierce George and Marcia Morse George. Ernest, or Ernie as he was called by his family and friends, grew up in Methuen, Mass. He graduated from Perley High School, Georgetown, Mass., in 1939. Following graduation, he enlisted in the United States Army. In August of 1941 he was accepted into the West Point Preparatory school at Schofield Barracks School at Hickam Army base, Honolulu, Hawaii. On Dec, 7, 1941, Ernie was returning from breakfast when the bombs began falling on Pearl Harbor. He and his fellow academy attendees were put on busses and rushed to the Harbor. In 1943 he attended pilot training school in Luke, Arizona. After completing flight school he was assigned to the 338th Fighter Squadron, flying P-38’s and based at the Eighth AF Fighter Station, England. As a fighter pilot his job was to escort missions and fighter sweeps over enemy airfields. On escort flights he accompanied Flying Fortresses and Liberators on some of their deepest penetrations into Germany. Lt. George successfully completed 57 missions. On March 24, 1944, his plane was downed over Nancy, France. He had to bail out and landed in a farmer’s field. He was captured by German soldiers and taken to an occupied French hospital for treatment of the injuries he sustained, a broken left arm and several head lacerations. While in the hospital, Ernie was approached by a fellow POW who asked Ernie to take his dog tags to the hospital furnace. The young man was Jewish and was fearful of what his captors would do to him if they found out. Ernie did as asked knowing full well he could suffer severe consequences if caught. After recuperating from his wounds he was transported to Germany and placed in Stalag Luft III, Lt. George spent 13 months as a German POW.
After the war, Lt. George was stationed at Williams Air Force Base, Phoenix, Arizona. While on leave one weekend he met a pretty red-headed young woman, Obera “Billie” White. After a short courtship, Ernie and Billie were married on Thanksgiving Day, November 22, 1945. Billie was the love of his life. They celebrated 64 years of marriage.
Ernie, Billie, and their children were stationed at several bases including Long Island, New York, Elgin, Illinois, Dayton, Ohio, Biloxi, Mississippi, Nagaya, Japan, and Sacramento, California.
In July 1957, Major George was transferred to Neosho, Missouri as the Air Force officer in charge at Rocketdyne. Ernie and Billie loved the area and decided to make their home here.
After his retirement from the Air Force, Ernie and Billie purchased a farm west of Neosho, where they have resided for the last 48 years.
As a civilian, Ernie was employed by Rocketdyne, Ozark Homes and Teledyne, retiring from Teledyne in 1986.
After retiring, Ernie enjoyed raising cattle, working on his farm, spending time with family and friends, and golfing. A voracious reader, he was well versed in many subjects and enjoyed discussing a multitude of topics with family and friends.
Ernie was very proud of his military career and his military accomplishments during his 21 years of service. He entered the military as a private and retired as a Lt. Colonel
Never one to brag about his accomplishments, he was reticent about his war experiences. It was only in his later years that he began sharing his war experiences, especially his time spent as a POW. He received numerous medals during the war, including a Purple Heart and the Distinguished Flying Cross. It was only after his death that his children discovered he had also received a Prisoner of War Medal, and found his POW German dog tags. Loath to bring attention to himself, he seldom displayed his medals on his uniform. On one occasion he was reprimanded by his commanding officer for not wearing his medals and was ordered to return home to retrieve them.
Ernie was a man of high moral and ethical standards. He believed if you gave your word, you should keep it. He had absolutely no tolerance for lying. He firmly believed everyone should do their job to the best of their ability. In a letter of recommendation for acceptance in West Point Preparatory School, his high school coach wrote, “I have always found Ernest to be of superior intelligence, and his character was unquestionable”.
Although he could appear somewhat stern and intimidating at times, underneath he was a softie with a clever sense of humor.
He dearly loved his wife, his children, his grandchildren, and his great grandchildren.
As a member of the Greatest Generation, he deeply loved his country and proudly served it.
He will be greatly missed by all who loved him and who were fortunate to call him friend.'
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