1/Lt. Kenneth H. Underwood


(K. Underwood Jr.)

1/Lt. Kenneth H. Underwood

38th FS - 13 February 1944 - 18 May 1944 (Killed in Action)

Assigned Aircraft

P-38J CG-K 42-104334

Mission History

23 missions

Mission List

55th FG  Mission #

Date Target
62 16 March 1944 Friedrichshafen (flew as spare)
66 24 March 1944 Metz (flew as Relay)
67 27 March 1944 Bourdeaux (flew as Relay)
68 08 April 1944 Salzbergen (flew as Yellow 4)
69 09 April 1944 Warnemunde (Flew as Spare - Filled in for Lt. Watts)
70 10 April 1944 St. Dizier (Flew as Spare - Filled in for Lt. Monty)
71 11 April 1944 Sorau-Cottbus (flew as Purple 3)
72 12 April 1944 Oscherleben Zwickau (flew as Blue 4)
73 13 April 1944 Augsburg (Flew as Spare - Filled in for Lt. Fisher)
74 15 April 1944 Jackpot (Ground Straffing)  (Flew as Spare)
78 22 April 1944 Hamm (flew as Yellow 4)
79 23 April 1944 Laon-Athies (flew as Red 4)
80 24 April 1944 Friedrichshaven (Flew as Spare - Filled in for Capt. Myers)
81 25 April 1944 Flew Patrol

82

26 April 1944 Tours (flew as White 4)

83

27 April 1944 Roye-Amy (Flew as Spare)

84

27 April 1944 Blainbille Sur L'L au (Flew as Spare - Filled in for Lt. Jaklich)

85

28 April 1944 Chateaudun (Flew as Spare)

86

29 April 1944 Berlin (flew as Yellow 4)
Aborted 04 May 1944 Berlin (flew as spare)
89 07 May 1944 Berlin (flew as White 4)
90 08 May 1944 Berlin (flew as White 4)
91 09 May 1944 Thionville (flew as Red 4)
92 11 May 1944 Epinal (flew as Yellow 4)
Air Scores
Destroyed  
Probable  
Damaged  
Ground Scores
Destroyed  
Damaged  
Notes

Entered service from Topeka, Kansas
ASN - O-753761
13 February 1944 - Assigned to 38th Fighter Squadron
May 1944 - Awarded the Air Medal
May 1944 - Awarded Oak Leaf Cluster to the Air Medal
18 May 1944 - Lt. Underwood was killed in a crash.  He crashed at Bury St. Edmunds, England.  Lt. Underwood is buried at Plot F, Row 3, Grave 131, Cambridge American Military Cemetery and Memorial, Coton, Cambridge, England.

Awards
Memories Arthur Thorsen's memories of Lt. Underwood from a letter received by Ken Underwood Jr.:
'Your Dad seemed to have drawn a wall around himself.  He didn't have time for nonsense, not as a Cadet and not as a Commissioned Officer.  Ken Sr. never horsed around with the other men.  He was a very serious person, not an easy man to get to know.  I believe I was as close to him as any of the others, maybe more so... except for one other pilot.  This pilot's name was Charles Harris Hodge, another classmate.  He and your Dad spent much of their time together and I suppose one could them buddies.  Hodge crashed and was killed.
You mentioned "hot-dogging" in your letter.  Don't believe that.  He had better sense than that.  I believe the truth is, he was practising low-level flying.
It was at that time that we were ordered in on close ground work - a series of attacks at below tree-top level ... we were to destroy everything we observed: locomotives, tanks, aerodromes, troops and truck convoys.  This was very dangerous work and everyone had to have their wits about them if they were to survive.  Ground gunners always used us for a turkey shoot.  So I believe your Dad was merely developing his low-level skills that day and something went wrong and he crashed... Your Dad was a good pilot, one that I, personally, had no qualms about going into combat with.  He was courageous, serious and determined to do his job as best he could and return home to his growing family.  Unfortunately, fate saw otherwise, but you have every right to be proud of him.'
(Reproduced with the kind permission of Ken Underwood Jr.)
Additional Photo Lt. Underwood's grave at Madingley Cemetery, Cambridge. (R. Abbey)
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