1/Lt. William K. Birch

(Robert M. Littlefield)

1/Lt. William K. Birch

38th FS - 11 April 1943 - 16 December 1943 (Killed in Action)

Assigned Aircraft

KIA in P-38H CG-Q 42-67077 "Mountain Ayers"

Mission History

10 missions

Mission List
55th FG Mission # Date Target
n/a 16 October 1943 Practice Mission (Red 2)
06 20 October 1943 Duren
08 24 October 1943 St. Andre L'Eure (Yellow 2)
10 05 November 1943 Gelsenkirchen (Filled in as Spare and flew mission)
13 10 November 1943 Montdidier Airdrome (Blue 4)
14 11 November 1943 Munster (Spare)
15 13 November 1943 Bremen (Spare)
n/a 18 November 1943 Practice Mission (White 3)
16 25 November 1943 Sweep - Lille Area (White 3)
18 29 November 1943 Bremen (Red 3) (Returned early and landed at Earls Colne due to engine trouble)
19 30 November 1943 Solingen
21 05 December 1943 Bourdeaux (Red 4) (Returned early at 0955 because of Oil Cooler trouble)
22 11 December 1943 Bremen (Red 4)
24 16 December 1943 Bremen (Filled in as Spare and flew mission)
Air Scores
Ground Scores
Score Detail 25 November 1943  Me-109 probable (air) NW Arras

Born in 1921
14 April 1942 - Enlisted in the US Army
Army Serial Number at Enlistment - 18097385
ASN - O-740136
11 April 1943 - Joined the 38th Fighter Squadron
December 1943 - Promoted from 2nd Lieutenant to 1st Lieutenant
16 December 1943 - Killed in Action (Crashed)
Lt. Birch was a spare and filled in for an abort by 2/Lt. Richard Forsblad.  The squadrons were returning from a bomber escort mission.  Major Dallas Webb of the 343rd Squadron reported: "On return, when over England, I observed Lt. Birch flying alone and I called him to join up and Lt. Birch complied.  At this point I started to let down through the overcast, but before entering the overcast I observed Lt. Birch to fall off and spin into the overcast."

Lt.Col. Jack Jenkins had just emerged from the base of the overcast with Lt. Edward Peters on his wing and he reported: "I was flying at about 600 feet in the vicinity of Wakerly, (England) when I observed Lt. Birch's airplane come out of the overcast in a 70 degree dive and continue straight into the ground where the aircraft exploded.  It was definitely ascertained that Lt. Birch was in the airplane when it hit the ground."

2/Lt. Birch is buried in Los Angeles, California.
Reproduced with kind permission of Mr. Robert M. Littlefield from the author's book Double Nickel - Double Trouble


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