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Old 12th June 2008, 04:28
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Eagle0025 Eagle0025 is offline
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429FS/474FG P-38 crash, 17 Sep 44

I am seeking information on the subject P-38 crash. The pilot, 2Lt. Richard Stein, was returning to airfield A-72 near Peronne, France from a mission in support of Operation Market Garden. While the squadron circled the field to land, Lt. Stein found that his landing gear would not function. The tower advised him to fly down to Le Bourget field, north of Paris, and if necessary, make a belly landing there. Apparently, he did not land at Le Bourget. It was later learned that a P-38 had attempted to land at Villacoublay (airfield A-42) on 17 Sep with only two wheels down. The tower could not make radio contact with the pilot so they shot up red flares for warning. The controller said that the plane circled a few times and set course to the north. Shortly afterwards, Villacoublay received word that a plane, believed to be a P-38, had crashed nearby. Sadly, the P-38 crash had been located and that Lt. Stein was killed in the crash.

Sketchy information I have says that Stein crashed "North of Beaumont, France". The closest "Beaumont" I could find was Beaumont-sur-Oise which is not too far north of Paris and also on the flight path back to Peronne. It is believed that Stein may have been running low on fuel and may have attempted an emergency landing at the airfield near Beaumont-sur-Oise. Stein's P-38 is believed to have been P-38J-20-LO, serial no. 44-23519.

No MACR was ever written and I have yet to locate an accident report. Any help/details on this crash or exact location of the crash site would be most appreciated.

Cheers, Gary Koch (474th FG Association Historian)
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