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George C Carpenter


Major Carpenter was born 14 May 1917 in Townville, Pennsylvania. He grew up in Oil City, where he graduated from high school in 1935. he attended Grove City College, meanwhile taking flight instruction under the Civilian Pilot Training Program.
George enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in March 1941. He unfortunately washed-out when he fainted after being given a tetanus shot. He then contacted the Clayton-Knight Committee and subsequently joined the RCAF. Upon completion of his training in California he was sent to England, where he flew Spitfires in No. 121 (Eagle) Squadron in June 1942.
In September 1942 he transferred to the U.S. 4th Fighter Group, 335th Squadron, where they began flying P-47 Thunderbolts in early 1943. His first victory took place in February 1944, followed by four more in March to make him an "Ace". By the end of April he added 8 1/3 more destroyed. Unfortunately, the last two of those were on 18 April, when he paid the price of himself being shot down near Stendel, Germany. He became a POW in Stalag Luft III and later Mooseburg, near Munich. He was liberated in May 1945 and immediately returned to England, where he married his girlfriend before returning to the States.
He was the Commanding Officer of the 335th Squadron from February until his capture by the Germans and had destroyed 17.3 enemy aircraft. He had flown 143 missions and 257 combat hours in Spitfires, P-47s, and P-51s. He had earned the Distinguished Flying Cross with five Oak Leaf Clusters, the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the POW Medal, and the Presidential Unit Citation Medal.

When the war ended, he left the military service and attended Kirksville College of Osteopathy, graduating in 1956. He practiced medicine in Tennessee until his death in 2005.
He was proud of his time in the Air Force, and at a gathering of 4th Fighter Group retirees at Seymour Johnson Air Base shortly before his death, he was proud to show up wearing his wartime "Pinks and Greens", which still fit.


Units served with

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force

    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 335th Fighter Squadron

    335th Fighter Squadron

    The 335th Fighter Squadron was the offspring of No. 121 (Eagle) Squadron RAF. Formed on 21 May 1941, No. 121 was the second of the three Eagle Squadrons composed of American volunteers flying out of England. They were known as the "Chiefs" and were...

  • No. 121 'Eagle' Squadron

    No. 121 'Eagle' Squadron

    'On 14 May 1941, No. 121 was reformed at Kirton-in-Lindsey as the second 'Eagle' Squadron to be manned by American volunteers. Equipped with Hurricanes, it began defensive patrols in October but in November it converted to Spitfires. It moved to North...


  • 42-106675

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 335FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return Ramrod to Berlin. A/C last seen shortly after engaging two Bf109’s northwest of Nauen, Germany. Pilot Major George Carpenter POW. 18-Apr-44. MACR 4125.

  • 43-6575 'Virginia'

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 335FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Section caught strafing a train by Bf109's and Fw190's. A/C Shot down 6-Jun-44. Pilot Lt Cecil E Garbey KIA. MACR 5602.

  • 41-6226

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    Assigned to 335FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Personal aircraft of Lieutenant George 'Carp' Carpenter.

  • 42-7863

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    P-47D Thunderbolt 42-7863 assigned 335th FS, 4th FG, 8th AF. Don Blakeslee's assigned A/C. ...

  • EN918

    Supermarine Spitfire EN918 Mk Vb, Built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory. ...

  • P8339

    Supermarine Spitfire P8339 Mk IIb , Built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory. ...

  • 43-6863

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 335FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. On a local flight 6-May-44, A/C crashed while attempting to land at Ridgewell. Report stated pilot Lt Ralph G Boyce “came out of a cloud and went straight in. He landed in an open field.” KIFA.

Associated Place

  • Biggin Hill

    Military site : airfield
    An RAF Station with US lodger units. USAAF Spitfires and P-38s were attached to RAF No 11 Group stations in mid-1942 for training; also used for special operations by British and US forces.

  • Debden

    Military site : airfield
    RAF Debden, construction of which began in 1935, is perhaps most famous as a Battle of Britain fighter airfield, partly responsible for the defence of London in 1940. In 1942 it was also home to three RAF 'Eagle Squadrons’ of volunteer American pilots...


Event Location Date
Born Townville, PA 16360, USA 14 May 1917

Born - 14th May 1917

Lived in Oil City, PA, USA 44
Crashed Nauen, Germany 18 April 1944

Last seen shortly after engaging two ME-109’s northwest of Nauen, Germany. Crashed near Stendel in P-51 Mustang 42-106675. (MACR 4125).

Prisoner of War (POW) Stalag Luft III Żagań, Poland 18 April 1944 – May 1945

Prisoner of War (POW) Stalag Luft III.

Died Paris, TN 38242, USA 2 July 2005

Died - 2nd July 2005


Date Contributor Update
25 February 2016 11:18:14 Al_Skiff Changes to unit associations and place associations

EAGLES of the RAF - The World War II Eagle Squadrons by Phillip D Caine.

Date Contributor Update
21 October 2015 10:21:18 general ira snapsorter Changes to biography

Merged with duplicate entry to include details from :
Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list

Date Contributor Update
20 October 2015 17:51:37 Al_Skiff Changes to middlename, nickname, biography, awards, events, unit associations and place associations

EAGLES of the RAF - The World War II Eagle Squadrons by Phillip D Caine.

Date Contributor Update
08 March 2015 15:38:10 apollo11 Changes to highest rank, biography, awards, events and place associations

Personal research & 'Eighty-One Aces of the 4th Fighter Group' by Frank Speer.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:10:39 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Fighter Aces of the U. S. A. and Mustang Aces of the Eighth Air Force MACR 4125 / MACR 4125 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database / Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list