Capt. Clair W. Des Voignes


(Robert M. Littlefield)

Capt. Clair W. Des Voignes

38th FS - 20 April 1943 - 13 July 1944 (Killed in Action)

Assigned Aircraft

P-38J CG-W 42-28279
P-38 "Ascend Charly"

Mission History

75 Missions

Mission List

55th FG Mission #

Date Target
n/a 16 October 1943 Practice Mission (Blue 5)
04 18 October 1943 Sweep - Dutch Islands (White 4)
07 22 October 1943 Cambrai (Spare)
n/a 30 October 1943 Mission abandoned (Yellow 2)
09 03 November 1943 Wilhelmshaven (Red 2)
10 05 November 1943 Gelsenkirchen (Yellow 2)
14 11 November 1943 Munster (White 2)
16 25 November 1943 Sweep over Northern France (Red 4)
17 26 November 1943 Bremen (White 4)
18 29 November 1943 Bremen (Red 4)
19 30 November 1943 Solingen (Spare - Flew mission in place of Capt. Ayers)
21 05 December 1943 Bordeaux (White 3)
22 11 December 1943 Bremen (Red 3)
25 20 December 1943 Bremen (Yellow Leader)
26 22 December 1943 Osnabrück (Red 4)
28 30 December 1943 Ludwigshafen (Red 4)

29

31 December 1943 Bourdeaux (Yellow 4)
30 04 January 1944 Kiel (Red 2)
31 05 January 1944 Kiel (Spare - Flew mission in place of Lt. Turner)
33 11 January 1944 Brunswick (Blue 4)
34 14 January 1944 St. Poi (Blue 4)
35 21 January 1944 Area Patrol - Lille/Belgium (Purple 3)
36 24 January 1944 Frankfurt (Blue 2)
37 29 January 1944 Frankfurt (Red 3)
41 04 February 1944 Frankfurt (Blue 3)
43 06 February 1944 Dijon (Red 3)
44 08 February 1944 Frankfurt (Spare - filled in for Capt. Hancock)
45 10 February 1944 Brunswick (Red 3)
46 11 February 1944 Frankfurt (Red 3)
47 20 February 1944 Bernburg (Red 3)
48 20 February 1944 Kiel Area (Red 3)
50 22 February1944 Schweinfurt (White 3)
51 24 February 1944 Gotha (Blue 3)
52 25 February 1944 Augsburg (Yellow 3)
54 29 February 1944 Brunswick (Yellow 3)
63 18 March 1944 Friedrichshafen (White 3)
64 22 March 1944 Berlin (Yellow 3)
65 23 March 1944 Gütersloh (Yellow 3)
71 11 April 1944 Sorau-Cottbus (Yellow 3)
72 12 April 1944 Oscherleben –Zwickau (Yellow 3)
73 13 April 1944 Augsburg (Yellow 3)
76 19 April 1944 Paderborn-Gütersloh (White 3) (Returned early at 0914, left fuel pump out)
78 22 April 1944 Hamm (Yellow 3)
83 27 April 1944 Roye-Amy (Red Leader)
84 27 April 1944 Blainville Sur L’lau (Blue 3)
85 28 April 1944 Châteaudun (Red Leader)
86 29 April 1944 Berlin (Blue Leader)
88 01 May 1944 Type 16 (Blue Leader)

n/a

04 May 1944 Berlin (Yellow Leader)
91 09 May 1944 Thionville (Blue Leader)
93 12 May 1944 Brux (Red 3) (Returned early at 1339 due to belly tank switch failure)
94 13 May 1944 Posen (Blue Leader)
97 21 May 1944 Ranger Operation (White 3) (1 x Loco shared, 1 x Loco damaged shared, 2 x tank cars, 1 x river steamer damaged, 1 x high tension tower shared & 1 x flak tower)
98 22 May 1944 Kiel (Blue Leader)
99 23 May 1944 Misc targets in France (White 3)
100 24 May 1944 Berlin (Blue Leader)
101 25 May 1944 Liege (Yellow Leader)
102 27 May 1944 Mannheim (White 3)
103 28 May 1944 Weissenfels/Leipzig (Red Leader)
104 29 May 1944 Posen, Sorau and Cottbus (Red Leader) (1 x Loco & 1 x power wrecker damaged shared)
107 02 June 1944 P.R.U. Escort (Red Leader)
109 03 June 1944 Pas de Calais - Area Support (Red Leader)
148 12 June 1944 Rennes (Red Leader)
149 12 June 1944 Bombing of bridges in Tours area (Yellow Leader)
150 13 June 1944 La Possonnière Bridge (Yellow Leader)
153 16 June 1944 Arras and St. Poi (Yellow Leader)
155 18 June 1944 Hamburg (Blue Leader)
157 19 June 1944 Bordeaux (flew as Squadron Leader -Yellow Leader)
158 19 June 1944 Area Support - Pas De Calais (Yellow Leader)
159 20 June 1944 Hamburg (Yellow Leader)
162 23 June 1944 Sens (flew as Squadron Leader -White Leader)
168 29 June 1944 Oscherleben (Yellow Leader)

171

01 July 1944 Vierzon (flew as Squadron Leader -White Leader)
172 04 July 1944 Gien (flew as Squadron Leader -White Leader)
173 04 July 1944 Strafing (flew as Squadron Leader -White Leader)
175 06 July 1944 Mew Control (flew as Squadron Leader -White Leader)
176 06 July 1944 Bridges- Escort (flew as Squadron Leader -White Leader)
180 11 July 1944 Munich (flew as Squadron Leader -White Leader of B Group)
182 13 July 1944 Munich (flew as Squadron Leader -White Leader)
Air Scores
Destroyed
Probable
Damaged  
Ground Scores
Destroyed  
Damaged  
Score Detail 05 November 1943  (.5)Me-109 destroyed (air) Nijmegen
05 November 1943  (.5)Me-109 probable (air) Winterswijk
22 May 1944  FW-190 destroyed (air) SW Neumunster
Notes Entered service from Spokane, Washington.
ASN - O-743425
20 April 1943 - Joined the 38th Fighter Squadron
December 1943 - Awarded the Air Medal
December 1943 - Awarded 1st Oak Leaf Cluster to the Air Medal
14 January 1944 - Promoted from 2nd Lieutenant to 1st Lieutenant
February 1944 - Awarded an Oak Leaf Cluster to the Air Medal
February 1944 - Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross
08 June 1944 - Promoted from 1st Lieutenant to Captain
03 July 1944 - Appointed Squadron Operations Officer
July 1944 - Awarded an Oak Leaf Cluster to the Distinguished Flying Cross

13 July 1944 - MACR No. 06717
Collided with Lt. James A. Palmer (62nd FS, 56th FG), who was flying P-47 LM-M 42-25713.  Collision occurred near St. Denis, Belgium.

2/Lt. Claude L. Chamberlin reported: "I was flying Capt. Des Voignes' left wing at about 22,000 feet.  We saw three P-47s coming almost towards us at about 2 o'clock position.  Des Voignes started a turn to the right to keep them in sight and came in behind them.  As we were in this turn, another P-47, flying straight and level came in towards us.  I was behind, a little low and to the left of Des Voignes, when I saw this other P-47.  Des Voignes could not see it because he was in a turn.  The P-47 didn't seem to turn in any way.  The P-47 hit the P-38 on the underside of the pilot's nacelle.  I was on "C" channel so couldn't call Des Voignes as it happened too fast. Both planes exploded and burst into flame.  The largest part I saw was the left motor and inboard section of the P-38.  I saw no chutes open."

From the Squadron records: "On the way home today "Old Buddy" Captain Des Voignes was instantly killed when he and a P-47 ran into each other.  Captain Des Voignes was leading his flight and saw three P-47's in the distance.  In order to keep them in sight he had to make a 180 and he came up behind them.  A "tail end Charlie" that Des Voignes didn't see came Hell bent for Election and evidently did not see the P-38 and as he came up to get into formation crashed right into the belly of the 38 at the pilots nacelle. Both planes disintegrated and burst into flame.  No chutes were observed by anyone."

Capt. Des Voignes went down in Belgium. He is buried in Plot B, Row 35, Grave 25 in the Ardennes American Military Cemetery and Memorial, Neupre, Belgium.
Reproduced with kind permission of Mr. Robert M. Littlefield from the author's book Double Nickel - Double Trouble

Awards
Memories He was a talented and humorous cartoonist and was very popular with members of his unit. (Robert M. Littlefield)
Additional Images Copy of a cartoon drawn by Capt. Des Voignes (Robert M. Littlefield)

Capt. Des Voignes' grave at the Ardennes American Military Cemetery and Memorial, Neupre, Belgium. (Paul Patist)

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