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Thomas Harvey Hubbard

Military

Thomas Hubbard attended the Ryan School of Aeronautics in San Diego, CA in 1937. He graduated, gaining a pilot’s license as well as an airplane and engine mechanics one in May 1938. After enlisting in the Air Corps at San Diego, CA on 25 June 1938, he started fighter pilot training at Randolph Field, TX. After graduating at Kelly Field, TX on 26 May 1939, he was assigned to the 20th Pursuit Group at Barksdale Field, LA and flew P-36s. The Group moved to Moffett Field, CA in November 1939. A few weeks later, as the Group was split in two, he joined the 20th Pursuit Squadron of the 35th Pursuit Group at Hamilton Field, CA. The 20th Pursuit left for the Philippine Islands in October 1940 and Hubbard was later transferred to the 28th Bomb Squadron, based at Clark Field on Luzon Island. He flew B-10 and B-18 bombers until the Pacific War started. He spent 2 months on Bataan and the Island of Mindanao, then was sent to Australia where he piloted P-40s until he joined a Task Force heading for New Caledonia. There, he became 67th Fighter Squadron Operations Officer, flying P-40s. After a short period as Commander of the 67th FS, he took a detachment of the Squadron to Guadalcanal in September 1942, participating to the fighting there for two weeks and earned the Silver Star for gallantry in action during this period.
Hubbard had a total of 33 missions in New Caledonia, Guadalcanal and elsewhere in the South Pacific, flying P-400s and p-40s. Upon returning to the US in November 1942, he served as Group Training Officer in the 326th Operational Training Group at Wendover Field, Massachusetts, where training flights were made on P-47s. In May 1943, he was assigned Deputy Commander in the 355th Fighter Group and left on mid-June with the Group’s advance echelon to the European Theatre of Operations. The 355th FG was assigned to the 8th AF on 6 July 1943 and Hubbard started flying missions with the Group. He was on his 21st mission on 13 November 1943, taking off from Bungay (not from the 355th's base of Steeple Morden) flying on P-47D 42-7944 with his Group’s escort of 8th AF bombers on return from Bremen, when his plane’s engine dropped forward in its frame. With his aircraft off balance and the gas and oil lines broken, he got away from the bombers and bailed out at 25,000ft over the Netherlands. After his landing in parachute, he was helped in his evasion of capture by Dutch, Belgian and French citizens and Resistance members. Clothed, fed and sheltered in many places, he was led from the Netherlands to Brussels, Belgium, then to the South of France via Paris, Bayonne, Saint-Jean-de-Luz. He crossed into Spain over the Pyrénées mountains with guides and other evaders on 4 June 1944. Later driven to Madrid in a diplomatic car, he arrived there on 24 June. He was driven to Gibraltar and flew back from that British base to England on 27 June 1944, landing at Bristol the following day. Thomas Hubbard stayed in the Air Force until his retirement from service in April 1951. See the full story of his evasion at http://www.evasioncomete.org/fhubbarth.html

Service

Units served with

  • 355th Fighter Group

    355th Fighter Group

    Group
    Where the 353rd Fighter Group had pioneered ground strafing techniques, it was the 355th Fighter Group who destroyed more enemy aircraft by ground strafing than any other Eighth Air Force Group. Based at Steeple Morden from July 1943 to July 1945, the...

  • Headquarters Squadron (355th Fighter Group)

Aircraft

  • 42-7944 Speed / Lil Jo

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    P-47D-1-RE 42-7944 [WR:P] "Speed / Lil Jo", was assigned to 355FG/354FS at Steeple Morden, UK. On 13 November 1943, the aircraft, piloted by LTC Thomas H. Hubbard, Group Headquarters, took off from Bungay and was despatched with other P-47s from the...

  • 42-8404 "Speed / Lil' Jo"

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    Assigned to 354FS, 355FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 350FS, 353FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Gambais 13-Aug-44. 2Lt George W Mc Inis KIA (KIA) MACR 7604.

  • 42-8444 Speed

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    Assigned to 354FS, 355FG, 8AF USAAF.

Missions

  • VIII Fighter Command FO-180 BOMBER ESCORT

    13 November 1943
    This mission is composed of two fighter elements. The first element is a force of 45 P-38s from 55FG despatched to escort the B-17 formations attacking at Bremen, Germany. 7 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 4KIA 3POW. 2 are Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR)...

Associated Place

  • Bungay

    Military site : airfield
    From late November 1943, the three bases of Bungay, Seething and Hardwick were the stations of the 20th Combat Wing of the Eighth Air Force. The base had previously housed individual squadrons of the 310th Bomb Group (Twelfth Air Force) and of the 93rd...

  • Steeple Morden

    Military site : airfield
    Originally used from 1940 as a small, grass airfield, satellite for nearby RAF Bassingbourn, Steeple Morden was allocated to the Eighth Air Force in August 1942 as a potential bomber base. It was used briefly by the 3rd Photographic Group during the...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Dallas, Texas 4 December 1911
Enlisted 25 June 1938

San Diego, California, as a Flying Cadet

Lived in 1942

Fort Worth, Texas

Bailed out of 13 November 1943

P-47D 42-7944 over the Netherlands while flying with his Group’s escort of 8th AF bombers on return from Bremen; engine trouble and mechanical failure

13 November 1943

landed in parachute near Scibulo, 6km SE of Mariënberg, Overijssel, The Netherlands (his P-47 crashed near Laarbrug, between Vilsteren and Ommen, Overijssel, The Netherlands)

evaded capture 13 November 1943 – 28 June 1944

helped in his evasion of capture by Dutch, Belgian and French citizens and Resistance members. His Escape & Evasion Report 802 may be viewed at: https://catalog.archives.gov/OpaAPI/media/5555442/content/arcmedia/nw/30... - For the full story of his evasion, see http://www.evasioncomete.org/fhubbarth.html

Buried 1983

Thomas Hubbard rests at the Greenwood Memorial Park and Mausoleum in Fort Worth, Texas

Died 19 November 1983

Fort Worth, Texas

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
21 August 2019 14:06:44 ED-BB Changes to middlename, nickname, biography, awards, events and place associations
Sources

MACR 1449
Escape & Evasion Report E&E # 802
p47pilots.com
Details from the Hubbard family

Date Contributor Update
16 July 2015 19:11:03 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography and events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 16-Jul-2015. Added Escape & Evasion Report notation to Evasion event notes based on information recieved directly from Peter Randall, historian of littlefriends.co.uk and confirmed in the National Archives Records Administration (NARA) E&E database at: http://media.nara.gov/nw/305270/EE-802.pdf.

Date Contributor Update
15 July 2015 19:48:18 Lee8thbuff Changes to service number, role, biography, awards, events, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 15-Jul-2015. Added Decorations and made connections to Place, Aircraft and Mission withing esiting website data and MACR 1449. Added Evasion event and Summary Biography base on "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces", Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE. No Escape and Evasion Report could be located at NARA.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:25:57 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Who's Who in the Eighth Air Force and/or Biographical Directory Command & Staff Officers Eighth Air Force 1942-45; MACR 1449

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