2/Lt. John T. Kibler Jr.
2/Lt. John T. Kibler Jr.
343rd FS 08 September 1944 - 15 October 1944 (Killed in Action)
|Notes||Entered service from Chestertown, Maryland.
Army Serial Number - O-821504
08 September 1944 - Joined the 343rd Fighter Squadron
15 October 1944 - Killed in Action
It is likely that Lt. Kibler suffered oxygen failure and spun in near St. Nicholas, Belgium.
MACR No. 09497
2/Lt. John R. McCabe reported: "October 15, 1944, I was flying Tudor Red 4, on Lt. Kibler's wing, Red 3. We were flying at about 28,000 feet at 0832, about 2 to 300 yards behind Red Leader, pulling about 40 inches and 2600 RPM. I noticed Kibler's nose drop in a slight dive. I followed him thinking he was adjusting his oxygen mask, heat or something in the cockpit. The dive increased to about a 70 degree dive down to about 26,000 feet when he did a roll to the right. I followed him through on this and lost sight of him for about a quarter of the roll. When I saw him again he was about 3,000 feet below me, at about 21,000 feet, doing vertical rolls, spinning to the right. I followed on down and saw a wing, the left I believe, come off and gas come streaming out. I watched it closely because I thought at first it might be a parachute. When I looked back at the aircraft it was spinning and flipping straight down. I went down to 12,000 feet and then looked away to search the area for a chute, so that I did not see the aircraft hit the ground, nor did I find any chute in the area. I had called him twice on the radio when his dive steepened, and before he rolled but received no answer. From the actions of the aircraft it seems to me that oxygen failure was the cause of the accident because there was nothing violent in the manoeuvres of the aircraft till after the roll. I called Tudor Red leader and told him that Kibler had spun out and that I saw no chute. Tudor leader told me to spot the location on the map, and rejoin the squadron. The approximate area was at the branch of the river just east, and a little south of St. Nicholas, Belgium, coordinates about 5104-0417."
Reproduced with kind permission of Mr. Robert M. Littlefield from the author's book Double Nickel - Double Trouble
Lt. Kibler is buried at Plot D, Row 25, Grave 7, in the Ardennes American Military Cemetery and Memorial, Neupre, Belgium.
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