Last Known Activity
Harry Moe Anderson was born in 1924 in Washington. His NARA enlistment record states he was inducted at Tacoma, Washington on January 11, 1943. He had completed 4 years of high school, and was employed as a sales clerk.
He qualified for the Aviation Cadet Program after he completed basic training. He completed the course of instruction and was awarded pilot's wings and commissioned as a 2 Lt in the USAAF. He received additional training in aerial and gunnery techniques and was deployed to England in late 1943.
There he was assigned to the 55th Fighter Squadron of the 20th Fighter Group, operating from Kingscliffe, England. He flew a number of combat missions escorting bomber raids as well as participating in fighter sweeps.
On August 27, 1944, he was escorting bombers on a raid on Esbjerg, Denmark. The primary targets were several airfields around the city. Released from escort duty after the bombers reached the target, he began a systematic strafing of the airfields. He was hit with flak and machine gun fire from a German flakboat in the harbor. The aircraft crashed in the water at Gradyb. His body was never recovered, and he is memorialized on the Walls of the Missing at Cambridge American Cemetery in Cambridge, England.
USAAC-USAAF Aircraft Inventory Records
20th Fighter Group Aircraft Records
The aircraft flown by Lt. Anderson in this incident was P-51D # 44-13733, unnamed, assigned to the 55th Fighter Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report 8302 was issued, confirming identity.
NOTE: Before July 20, 1944, the 55th Fighter Squadron was equipped with, and flew, P-38s. On July 20, the unit converted to P-51s. Although there is no record of Lt Anderson having flown a P-38, the possibility that he did exists. A survey of assigned P-38s show none was assigned to Lt Anderson, but he served in the unit before the transition date.
Service photo source: