Lt. Martin G. O'Connell, Jr.

From Mike Seal, Jacksonville, FL:

Sent: 26 January 2009 06:16

Lt. Martin G. O'Connell, Jr. was my grandfather. I found your site, and a mystery is solved; I did not know the date of his death. I don't know much about him. Any information you can pass along would be appreciated more than words can express. Do you know if any of the 83rd Fighter Squadron are still alive?

Please find attached photos of O'Connell. Feel free to post them.

Thank you so much for your site. I hope you have a great day!

Mike Seal

Jacksonville, Florida USA

Sent: Monday, January 26, 2009 2:51 AM

Hi Mike,

Many thanks for sending the photos. I will certainly get the one of him with the 78th P-47 in shot on line soon. I can't add very much I'm afraid. The total sum of my information is that 2/Lt. Martin G O'Connell Jr., of Beaconsville, Iowa; service number O-814742 joined the 83rd Fighter Squadron on 6 April 1944. He was killed in a training accident only nine days later on 15 April. Next of kin is given as Mr. M G O'Connell, also of Beaconsville, Iowa. The accident happened at Duxford but I do not have any details of what happened nor the number of the accident report. I am though taking the opportunity of copying this reply as well as sending your photos to my friend Russell Abbey who runs the site for the 55th FG. Reason being is that his good lady has developed an interest in this sort of thing as well, and is currently working on a site for the 78th FG. Hopefully, in the fullness of time, she might be able to add to the knowledge pool if there is a record of the accident in the group records.

Unfortunately, I do not have a good contact with the 78th at the moment but I live in hope that one will show soon, particularly if there is now a decent web site in the offing!

Best wishes


Peter Randall
US 8th Air Force Little Friends Site

Sent: Thu, 29 Jan 2009 22:55:21 -0500


Please see my message below the response I received from Peter Randall. I would love to know if any pilots or crew members are still alive that knew my grandfather, Lt. Martin G. OConnell, Jr. I never knew him and would like to know about him.

I am also attaching photos.

Mike Seal

Lt. Martin G. O'Connell, Jr. US 78th Fighter Group, 83rd Fighter Squadron and Unidentified.jpg

Lt. Martin G. O'Connell, Jr. US 78th Fighter Group, 83rd Fighter Squadron.jpg

List of all P47 Pilots:
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Pilot Name Biography Summary
John Abbotts P-47 transition followed at Pocatello, Idaho and Greenville, Texas after which he was assigned to the 56th Fighter Group in England. When the news of his arrival reached Berlin, Hitler retired to his bunker with his cyanide capsule and revolver. Eva found the news equally depressing.
Asa A. Adair He returned to the States in August of 1944 after participating in the invasion "D" Day. He flew P-63's, P-51's, F-80's, T-33's, F-84's, T-38's, P-47's in numerous assignments during the following twenty years in in, Japan, U.S.A. and Europe before retiring after twenty-six years of Active Duty.
Edward B. Addison The 507th Fighter Group, equipped with P-47N's, won the Presidential Unit Citation for destroying 32 Japanese aircraft in the air on one mission to Seoul, Korea. The average flying time for raids to Korea and Japan would be 7 to 9 hours flying time. In a total of 31 months, the 507th not only provided top cover for B-29's, but also dive-bombed, napalm-bombed and flew low-level on strafing missions.
Levon B. Agha-Zarian It is rumored that he, took his primary training on a flying rug. He flew Spits, briefly, in England, but as the, war moved to the East, he was sent to India as a Sgt. Pilot and first saw action from Ceylon, flying the Curtiss P.36, the Brewster Buffalo, and the Hurricane. At this point he might have opted for the rug! This was at the time of the fall of Singapore and the sinking of the Prince of Wales and the Repulse.
George N. Ahles Posted to A-20 light bomber squadron Barksdale Field, Louisiana. . Group moved to Hunter Air Base Savannah, Georgia. Qualified for Pilot training November 1940. Entered Aviation Cadets January 1942. Presented wings November 1942 class of 42-J. Married Mary Louise while in Advanced Pilot Training at Craig AFB, Selma, Alabama, September 1942.
Roy J. Aldritt Shortly after the group moved to France he ran into some unseen flak and was forced to make a nylon descent behind the lines; some evasion and a lot of luck had him back with his unit in 24 hours.
Eugene J. Amaral After graduation from Stonington High School he enlisted as an Aviation Cadet in December 1942 and was called to active duty in March, 1943. He received his wings and commission at Spence Field, Georgia as a member of the Class of 43-C.
Talmadge L. Ambrose Flew 84 missions thru VE Day, was downed by 22mm ground fire over Siefried Line. He destroyed 11 enemy aircraft, 9 known confirmed in air and on ground, including 4 FW 190-D's in one afternoon over Hanover, Germany, April 8, 1945. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, 17 man, Oak Leaf Clusters, Good Conduct Medal, Pacific Theatre and European Theatre Meda1s with 5 Battle Stars and Unit Citation Medal.
John C. Anderson After P-47 transition he was assigned to the 406th Fighter Group, 512th Fighter Squadron. (E.T .0.) He flew 56 missions through January, 1945 destroying supply routes, bridges, and railroads; he also flew close support missions with the ground forces, with attacks on tanks, artillery and enemy positions.
William Anderson It was not always flak,two ME-109's beat the hell out of me one day. The central controller called me and said "Basher-Red Leader do you have contact Bandits," I replied, "I sure do, I'll bring them over the field in 3 minutes, they're chasing me home." Got all the usual medals including two Belgium and two French but one I'm most proud of is the Silver Star -it is the greatest.
1 to 10 of 599


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