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Lindol F. Graham was born in Clinton, Massachusetts, according to most biographies and references. There is, however, some accounts that list Boston, and one account that shows his name on a memorial plaque in Ridgewood, New Jersey dedicated to "our sons of Ridgewood." He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. George C. Graham.
He was educated at Dartmouth, and enlisted in the Aviation Cadet Program on December 7, 1941. He received pilot training, and graduated at Selma, Alabama on August 5, 1942, a member of Class 41-G. He was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant, and received his pilot's wings.
Graham was assigned to the 79th Fighter Squadron, part of the 20th Fighter Group, for training in the P-38 fighter. In October, 1942, he was assigned the position of Assistant Air Operations Officer for the 79th Fighter Squadron.
In 1943, Graham deployed to England with the 20th Fighter Group, and was based at Kingscliffe AB, a RAF base designated by the USAAC as AAF Station 367. The unit's first combat mission came November 5, 1943. The unit was tasked with bomber escort duties.
On a mission escorting bombers to Frankfort on January 29, 1944, Graham shot down three enemy fighters. He followed this up on February 20 with 2 more aerial victories, making him the first "ace" in the Group. He had been promoted to Captain and made Air Operations Officer for the 79th Fighter Squadron in January, 1944.
On March 18, 1944, while on an escort mission, Graham and his wingman attacked an enemy fighter, scoring numerous hits on the plane, Graham followed the German pilot down and forced him into the ground. As he pulled up, his aircraft nosed over, hit the ground and exploded near Kronhwinkel, about 45 miles southwest of Augsburg, Germany.
He was buried in St. Alvold Cemetery at Metz, France, but later moved at the request of his next of kin to Lorraine American Cemetery. He lies in Plot F, Row 7, Grave 28.
79th Fighter Squadron records
8th Air Force Aircraft inventory records
Aircraft inventory records show that Captain Lindol Graham was assigned P-38J #42-67497 nicknamed "Susie." Evidently, he was re-assigned a P-38J that arrived as a "memorial plane." The employees of Lockheed gave contributions and worked free overtime to build aircraft which they then dedicated to another person's memory.
Graham's new aircraft was P-38J #42-679266, nicknamed "Susie" and carrying a small plaque that read "In Memory Lloyd Lee Wade." This was the aircraft in which he was killed. Missing Air Crew Report 3095 applies.
Interestingly enough, 79th Fighter Squadron records state that the aircraft noses were painted gray to simulate the reconnaissance model later known as F-5. It is not known if this was a ploy to outwit German pilots or to keep identification of the aircraft unit from being known by the enemy.