2/Lt. Manuel J. Aldecoa


(R. Littlefield)

2/Lt. Manuel J. Aldecoa

343rd FS - 20 April 1943 - 25 November 1943 (Killed in Action)

Assigned Aircraft

P-38H 42-67061

Mission History

Not Known

Mission List

55th FG  Mission #

Date Target

06

20 October 1943 Duren

08

24 October 1943 St. Andre L'Eure

16

25 November 1943 Sweep - Lille Area
Air Scores
Destroyed  
Probable  
Damaged  
Ground Scores
Destroyed  
Damaged  
Notes Born in 1917
Entered service from Boise, Idaho.
02 November 1940 - Enlisted at Vancouver Barracks, WA
ASN at Enlistment - 19015392
ASN - O-743392
20 April 1943 - Joined the 343rd Fighter Squadron
25 November 1943 - Killed in Action
MACR No. 01274
Lt. Aldecoa was the first pilot lost in the 343rd Fighter Squadron.  The following are excerpts from two sources:  Capt. R. C. Franklin reported: "On 25 November 1943, I was flying and saw a FW 190 firing on a P-38 that had a right engine trailing smoke.  The plane started a vertical dive at 6000 feet and a parachute emerged at about 5000 feet and the plane crashed."
An unreadable name reported: "I was in Col. Jenkins flight and saw a P-38 in a 70 to 80 degree dive leaving a trail of smoke.  I saw the chute stream out at an altitude I would judge to be about 5000 feet.  The plane crashed near a railroad track and when I last looked the chute was floating down.  The time was approximately 1320."
The Germans reported: "Manuel J. Aldecoa, killed in action (air combat).  Pilot was killed because of torn parachute (sic).  Buried 11/27/43 in the English part of the local cemetery of Marville (North), (France)"  Lt. Aldecoa is now buried at St. John's Cemetery, Ada County, Idaho.
Reproduced with kind permission of Mr. Robert M. Littlefield from the author's book Double Nickel - Double Trouble

Lt. Aldecoa was killed on 25 November 1943 when his P-38 collided with Maj. Johannes Siefert's FW-190 during a dogfight.  Lt. Aldecoa attacked Maj. Siefert head-on and as they passed, their wings collided.  Lt. Aldecoa managed to bail out of his P-38, but sadly his parachute failed to deploy.
Awards
Memories Manuel Aldecoa enlisted in the Army after 2 years at the University of Idaho.
Manuel was one of 5 children born to Basque immigrants in Boise, Juan Domingo Aldecoa Urrusuno (b. in Ea-Nachitua) and Maria Pagoaga Iriarte (b. Motriko). Manuel is survived by sisters Benedicta Wilson and Delphine Aldecoa, both of whom served as air traffic controllers during WWII. Older sister Maurina Bowles worked in London, England during the war for the OSS, the precursor of the CIA
Additional Photos Lt. Aldecoa (F. Birtciel)
Lt. Aldecoa (Robert M Littlefield)
Lt. Aldecoa's entry in the American Roll of Honour in St. Paul's Cathedral, London
(Nb. Photos open in new windows.  Close new window to return to this page)

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