2/Lt. Charles Reid Michaelson

(F. Birtciel)

2/Lt. Charles Reid Michaelson

343rd FS - 17 December 1944 - 20 February 1945 (Prisoner of War)

Assigned Aircraft

P-51D 44-63567

Mission History

Not Known

Mission List
55th FG Mission # Date Target
324 20 February 1945 Railroad Rodeo
Air Scores
Ground Scores
Notes Born in Carbon, West Virginia, 21 July 1921.
Home of record, Notomine, West Virginia
Known as 'Mike'
17 December 1944 - Joined the 343rd Fighter Squadron
January 1945 - Awarded the Air Medal
February 1945 - Awarded 1st Oak Leaf Cluster to Air Medal
20 February 1945 - Prisoner of War
MACR No. 12543
1/Lt. James C. McVay reported: "Lt. Michaelson was flying Program Blue 2.  I was Program Blue leader.  The other two planes in the flight were unable to go on the mission.  we were flying at about 1,000 feet along a railroad track heading 270 degrees.  Michaelson saw a train sitting on the track just outside a small town.  He went down and got the loco.  I strafed the train.  They shot a lot of light flak at us.  I got down on the deck, Mike did the same.  I told him to head 270 degrees.  he was on one side of the track and I was on the other.  They kept shooting flak at us.  I crossed over and pulled up on Mike's wing just as he was hit.  at that time he began to lose something out of his scoop.  He also had a big hole in his engine just behind the prop.  I called him and told him to open the oil and coolant shutters, cut back on the RPMs and manifold pressure.  This was at 1215.  we climbed to 3,000 feet and steered 270.  At 1230 Mike called and said he was going to have to bail out.  He did a half roll and it looked as if he went down to about 1,000 feet before getting out.  His chute opened and he hit the ground a few seconds later.  It looked as if he hit the ground awfully hard.  He landed just outside of a small town, Vellberg, I believe, and about a mile from a double lane highway.  They were shooting light flak at me all the time I circled to see how he was making out, so as soon as Mike hit the ground I turned away.  I climbed to about 4,000 feet and came back over the place where Mike landed.  I could not see the chute.  I don't think he was able to get up, so I believe someone had picked him up.  Outside of the town was a large building with a large red cross on the top.  I'm not sure of our position since we were too far in to get a fix.  I steered 335 for 1 hour 40 minutes before crossing out at Ostend."

German J 3033 reported 2/Lt. Charles Michaelson's capture, February 20, 1945, at 1240 hours in the Stuttgart area.  He was imprisoned at Stalag Luft III, Sagan.
Reproduced with kind permission of Mr. Robert M. Littlefield from the author's book Double Nickel - Double Trouble

08 April 1951 - Died in a C-47 crash at Charleston, WV

Buried at Sunset Memorial Park in South Charleston, West Virginia

Memories 'Mike was assigned to my flight.  I took him in the jeep out to my CY-D that he had been assigned to fly and he was very nervous.  Got him squared away, started the engine and taxied out in order OK.'
(Frank Birtciel)

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