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BAIRD, George W Jr

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BAIRD, George Walter Jr

Servicenumber: O-823240 Baird_George_W_Jr

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Age: 26
Born: 19 January 1918, Wisconsin
Hometown: Wausau, Marathon County, Wisconsin
Family: George W. Baird (father)
Ella M. (Webert) Baird (mother)
Marion E. Baird (sister)
James D. Baird (brother)
Sharon Baird (sister)
Elaine M. (Radant) Baird (wife)
George L. Baird (son)
Rank: First Lieutenant
Function: Pilot
Regiment: -
Battalion: -
Division – Transport: -
Company – Squadron: 49th Fighter Squadron
Unit – Group: 14th Fighter Group
Plane data:
(Serialnumber, MACR, etc.)
Serialnumber: 44-24078
Type: P-38L 1-LO
Nickname: Lady Lorraine II
Destination: Seregelyes airfield, Hungary
Mission: Strafing raid
MACR: 10082
Date of death: 26 November 1944
Status: FOD
Place of death: South of Martonvásár, Hungary
Spot: Not available
Awards: Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart
Gravenumber: Plot D, Row 3, Grave 16
Cemetery: American War Cemetery Ardennes
Biography: -
Other information: 1st Lt George W. Baird Jr. attended high school for 4 years and was a paymaster. He joined the Air Corps of the U.S. Army Reserve in Eau Claire, Wisconsin on 21 October 1942.
Lt Baird received his commission February 8, 1943 and his pilot's wing at Moody field in Valdosta, George. He arrived overseas, somewhere in Italy, June 1, 1944 and had been promoted from second to first lieutenant while overseas.

1st Lt Baird had completed many combat mission as a P-38 Lightning fighter pilot with the 15th Army Air Foce in Italy. His missions have included flights over France, Germany, Italy, Romania, Hungary and Czechoslovakia, including an attack on Smederevo, Yugoslavia on September 3, when he destroyed two German planes on an airfield. He also flew with a group of escort fighters for B-17 Flying Fortress bombers during the mass rescue of American airmen released from Romanian prison camps in August. 1st Lt Baird had completed at least 50 combat mission when he was reported missing.
Prior to entering service, he was employed at the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing company office.

Statement of 1st Lt Robert Hauser:
"At about 1455 as we pulled off a parked train, I noticed that the right engine of Lt. Baird's ship was smoking, giving off a brownish black smoke. We just about completed a 360° turn to the right when Lt Baird called and said that he was going the feather up and requested an escort. I called my flight leader and told him that I would escort him. I had a great deal more speed than Lt Baird and hence in order to stay behind him and keep him in sight I had to S very sharply. I had made several turns over him and while I was in a turn to the right he was in my sight ans appeared to bel all right as he had feathered up the right engine. As I reversed my turn to the left I looked down just in time to see Lt. Baird's ship hit the ground going straight in. The plane burst into flame and in my opinion Lt Baird had no chance to got out. We were undergoing small arms fire at the time."

Source of information: Raf Dyckmans, Peter Schouteten, Astrid van Erp, www.wwiimemorial.com, www.archives.gov, www.ancestry.com - Family Trees, www.fold3.com - MACR, www.newspapers.com - Green Bay Press-Gazette

Photo source: Peter Schouteten, Brian G. Baird

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