Skip to main content
Edit entry 

John W. Wainwright


Flight leader 508th FS 404th FG flying P-47D Thunderbolts
6 kills in one mission on Spet. 28, 1944 awarded DSC.
Killed in flying accident July 7, 1945 Stuttgard, Germany
Second Lieutenant (Air Corps) John H. Wainwright (ASN: 0-814799), United States Army Air Forces, was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as Pilot of a P-47 Fighter Airplane in the 508th Fighter Squadron, 404th Fighter Group, NINTH Air Force, in aerial combat against enemy forces on 28 September 1944, in the European Theater of Operations. While participating in a fighter sweep over enemy territory, the formation in which Second Lieutenant Wainwright was flying was attacked by a superior force of enemy fighters. Without support and completely disregarding the heavy odds against him, he attacked three enemy fighters that were making a determined attack on his flight leader and destroyed one of them. Thrown into a spin by the explosion of the enemy fighter, he regained control of his plane and brought down three more enemy aircraft. By this time, completely separated from his formation, he encountered two more enemy planes, outmaneuvered them, and as he was getting into position to fire, the enemy aircraft collided and were destroyed. Second Lieutenant Wainwright's unquestionable valor in aerial combat is in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, the 9th Air Force, and the United States Army Air Forces.
General Orders: Headquarters, U.S. Strategic Forces in Europe, General Orders No. 4 (January 8, 1945)


Units served with

  • 404th Fighter Group

    404th Fighter Group

    A unit history of the 404th Fighter Group is available online as a pdf:

  • 508th Fighter Squadron

    508th Fighter Squadron

    "During one of the many breaks in operations caused by weather, Lieut. Col. Cowart of the 555th Signal Aircraft Warning Battalion introduced to pilots of the [404th FB] Group a radar set known as the SCR-584 (Signal Corps Radio). It had the ability to...

Associated Place


Event Location Date


Date Contributor Update
08 July 2017 05:57:43 fugari Created entry with surname, middlename, firstname, nationality, service number, highest rank, role, biography, unit associations, place associations and media associations

JCook Photo Collection & Archives