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Charley Johnston Garvey Jr


Charley J. Garvey Jr was a Pilot in the 356th Fighter Group/360th Fighter Squadron. On the 20 March 1944 bomber escort mission to Frankfurt, Germany, he and another wingman were seen to leave formation, probably to sweep down on some target near the Belgian border. For some unknown reason, Garvey belly-landed his P-47D #42-74638 - "Nashville Belle" - near Loksbergen, Limburg Province, Belgium. Immediately helped by Belgian locals, he was taken in charge by an evasion network with the aim of either taking him out of the country towards Southern France and "neutral" Spain or to keep hiding him in Belgium until the arrival of liberating troops in the foreseen Invasion. Sheltered, fed, clothed, transported, hidden in several places in Belgium, he was captured on 24 April 1944 in a trap set by the false KLM evasion network. Detained in the Saint-Gilles, Brussels Prison for a few weeks, he was sent to the Dulag Luft Interrogation Center near Frankfurt before being transferred to Stalag Luft 3 in Zagan/Sagan, Poland. Force-marched from there, he ended up in Stalag 7A in Moosburg, Germany, and was liberated there like thousands of others by US troops on 29 April 1945. [ NOTE : His grave has his first name as Charles, but all official documents have Charley : his 1942 Draft card, signed that way by him / WWII Enlistment Record 14092856 / POW record O-797664 / MACR 3395…]


Units served with

  • 356th Fighter Group

    356th Fighter Group

    The 356th Fighter Group flew 413 missions between 15 October 1943 and 7 May 1945 and suffered the highest ratio of losses to enemy aircraft claims of any Eighth Air Force Group. This gave the Group the reputation of being the 'hard luck' outfit. The...

  • 360th Fighter Squadron


  • 42-74638 Nashville Belle

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    P-47D-6-RE Thunderbolt #42-74638 was piloted by Charley J. Garvey Jr on the bomber escort mission to Frankfurt, Germany on 20 March 1944. He had to belly-land his Mustang in a field 2km West of Loksbergen, 4km NE of Kortenaken, Limburg Province,...


  • 8th Air Force FO 275 BOMBER ESCORT

    20 March 1944
    A force of 594 fighters of types: P-38; P-47 and P-51 are despatched to escort heavy bombers attacking at Frankfurt and Mannheim, Germany. Dispatch summary follows: ...

Associated Place

  • Martlesham Heath

    Military site : airfield
    Opened in 1917 as home to the RFC Aeroplane Experimental Unit, Martlesham Heath became well known during the 1920s-30s as home to the Aircraft and Armament Experimental Establishment. Used as an RAF fighter station from 1939, with only a grass airfield...


Event Location Date
Born 4 November 1920

Boone, Watauga County, North Carolina

Enlisted 27 March 1942

Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia

belly-landed 20 March 1944

his P-47D #42-74638 near Loksbergen, Belgium

evaded capture 20 March 1944 – 24 April 1944

with the help of Belgian citizens and members of the Résistance, until his capture in a trap set by a false evasion line

Prisoner of War (POW) 24 April 1944 – 1945

Saint-Gilles Prison (Brussels); Dulag Luft, Oberursel; Stalag Luft 3 Sagan; Stalag 7A Moosburg

Died 19 March 1980

Seymour, Blount and Sevier counties, Tennessee

Lived in

Sylvia, Dickson County, Tennessee


Charley (Charles) Garvey rests at the Berry Highland South Memorial Park in Knoxville, Tennessee


Date Contributor Update
29 June 2020 13:59:35 ED-BB Changes to media associations

Associated Media

Date Contributor Update
29 June 2020 13:56:03 ED-BB Changes to awards

Added Awards

Date Contributor Update
29 June 2020 13:46:17 ED-BB Changes to surname, middlename, firstname, suffix, service number, biography, events, place associations and mission associations

MACR 3395
NARA WWII Enlistment records
WWII Draft Card
Veterans Affairs BIRLS death File
SSDI (Social Security Death Index)

Date Contributor Update
29 June 2020 11:43:21 ED-BB Changes to media associations

Associated Media and chose key image

Date Contributor Update
05 December 2015 23:26:21 Rudy Changes to aircraft associations

Date Contributor Update
05 December 2015 23:24:33 Rudy Changes to unit associations

Date Contributor Update
05 December 2015 23:14:37 Rudy Changes to service number, highest rank and role

Date Contributor Update
05 December 2015 23:12:40 Rudy Created entry with surname, middlename, firstname and nationality