1/Lt. Richard L. Lapham

(Robert M. Littlefield)

1/Lt. Richard L. Lapham

38th FS - 03 August 1944 - 20th November 1944 (Killed in Action)

Assigned Aircraft

P-51D 44-14586 "Phyllis Jean"

Mission History

36 missions

Mission List
55th FG Mission # Date Target
233 13 September 1944 Merseburg
273 20 November 1944 Eudenbach Airfield
Air Scores
Ground Scores
Score Detail 13 September 1944  Me-109 destroyed (air) Erfurt
Notes From Florida.
ASN - O-823094
16 July 1944 - Assigned to the 555th FT, 496th Fighter Training Group
03 August 1944 - Joined the 38th Fighter Squadron
06 October 1944 - Promoted from 2nd Lieutenant to 1st Lieutenant
20 November 1944 - Killed in Action
MACR No. 10331
Capt. Dorman L. Castle reported: "I was leading Yellow section of Program squadron with Lt. Lapham as my element leader.  We were flying on a course of between 330 and 350 degrees at approximately 500 to 1000 feet, flights in trail stacked down.  We crossed a large river about 300 to 400 yards to the right of a four or five span bridge of which two spans were partly in the water.  As we crossed to the north side of the river, light flak sprayed the area inside our squadron.  I broke up and slightly to the left into the clouds at approximately 1,500 feet."

"As I broke I glanced down and saw a ship, probably Lapham's below me and heading in the same direction and it appeared to be heading down at a slight angle. I could not see anything wrong with it and was apparently under control.  I then went into the clouds and did not see any other ships except my number two and four men who were still with me."

Lt. Lapham was probably downed by flak near Werkendam, Holland.  The mission was bomber escort to Siegburg, Germany, and then strafe.

Lt. Lapham is buried at Plot B, Row 43, Grave 28, 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

Additional Photo

Lt. Lapham's grave at the Ardennes American Military Cemetery and Memorial, Neupre, Belgium. (Paul Patist)

Nb. Photo opens in a new window.  Close window to return to this page.

Back to 38th Fighter Squadron Pilots