1/Lt. Thomas K. Knudson

(Robert M. Littlefield)

1/Lt. Thomas K. Knudson

338th FS - 19 November 1943 - 08 April 1944 (Killed in Action)

Assigned Aircraft

P-38J 42-67721

Mission History

Not Known

Mission List
55th FG Mission # Date Target
68 08 April 1944 Brunswick
Air Scores
Ground Scores
Notes From Texas
ASN - O-746129
19 November 1943 - Joined the 338th Fighter Squadron
21 March 1944 - Awarded the Air Medal
23 March 1944 - Promoted from 2nd Lieutenant to 1st Lieutenant
08 April 1944 - Killed in Action
MACR No. 03619

Capt. Thomas A. White reported: "I was leading Yellow Flight and Lt. Knudson was Yellow 4 in my flight. Just before R/V, 2 enemy aircraft attacked from a high level of cirrus clouds at approximately 25,000 feet diving through the formation. Lt. Knudson was hit before he could break away and his aircraft was forced into a violent spin. He recovered at approximately 15,000 feet and feathered his left engine. He then called me on the R/T and asked for an escort, stating, 'I'm hit pretty badly, how about an escort home.' Or words to that effect.

"We (the flight) went into a weave over the damaged aircraft, to escort him home. He turned his radio off. He was flying on a course of 300 degrees and loosing altitude at the rate of approximately 200 feet per minute. He kept getting lower and lower; turned his radio on again to ask how far he was from the coast. I answered about 15 minutes.

"He then tried to restart his left engine which began smoking, whereupon he instantly feathered it. At about 3,000 feet altitude, the aircraft stalled and went into a spin to the left and exploding upon impact with the ground. All during this time I was within 500 feet of him. I did not observe the canopy come off, nor did I see him bail out. I flew to within 100 feet of the ground, circling the crash, and I did not observe him get clear of the burning aircraft. To the best of my knowledge and belief he did not bail out and he did not get clear of the crash."

Lt. Knudson crashed in Holland. He was from Texas and is buried at the Netherlands American Military Cemetery and Memorial, Margraten, Netherlands (Plot B, Row 19, Grave 14).

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

Additional Photos 1/Lt. Knudson's grave at the Netherlands American Military Cemetery, Margraten. (T. Berendsen)

Additional photo of Lt. Knudson. (T. Gibson)
Nb. Photos open in new window. Close window to return to this page.

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