1/Lt. James W. Hiner

(F. Birtciel)

1/Lt. James W. Hiner

343rd FS  20 April 1943 - 26 August 1944 (Prisoner of War)

Assigned Aircraft

P-38J CY- "The Brat"
P-38J CY- "The Brat II"
P-51D 44-13904

Mission History
55th FG Mission # Date Target
12 07 November 1943 Sweep - Lille Area
13 10 November 1943 Montdidier Airdrome
14 11 November 1943 Munster
15 13 November 1943 Bremen
16 25 November 1943 Sweep - Lille Area
17 26 November 1943 Bremen
23 13 December 1943 Kiel
Mission List

Not Known

Air Scores
Ground Scores
Score Detail

13 December 1943  Ju-88 destroyed (air) NW Hamburg

Notes Entered service from Los Angeles, California.
ASN - O-743338
Known as 'Jim' and 'The Brat'
20 April 1943 - Joined the 343rd Fighter Squadron
December 1943 - Awarded the Air Medal
26 August 1944 - P-51 suffered coolant leak after the train Lt. Hiner strafed blew up in a massive explosion.  Lt. Hiner bailed out near St. Mihiel in France to become a Prisoner of War
MACR No.08533
1/Lt. Russell W. Erb, Jr. reported: "I was flying Lt. Hiner's wing on Aug. 26, 1944.  We were to strafe along railroad tracks from Nancy to Dijon in France.  We hit the deck slightly west and south of Nancy and saw a train load of boxcars.  Lt. Hiner went in first and I followed about 50 yards in trail.  I saw Lt. Hiner's strikes hit the end two boxcars and a second later a tremendous explosion followed.  Flames leaped to 2,000 feet in the form of a huge cumulus cloud.  Buildings around were flattened and Lt. Hiner was caught in the middle of the blast.  Coolant started streaming out of his ship and we started to bring him out.  We headed 340 degrees for about 8 minutes and then 270 degrees for about 3 minutes and Lt. Hiner bailed out near St. Mihiel at 1115 from about 2500 feet.  I saw him land on a road and was picked up by some men who came from Army trucks about 20 feet away.  I do not know whether the troops were friendly or not."
Lt. Hiner later said he had hit the horizontal stabiliser right in the belly when he bailed.  He "came to" on the ground with a German soldier poking him with a machine pistol.  He was taken to a French hospital for surgery that was overrun by the allies in September, and he then was transferred to an English hospital and returned to his unit the same month.
Reproduced with kind permission of Mr. Robert M. Littlefield from the author's book Double Nickel - Double Trouble

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