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  • Christina Drummond

Captain Darrell R. Lindsey, 394th Bombardment Group, 585th Bomb Squadron, United States Army Air For

Remembering the Fallen: on the 9th of August, 1944, Captain Darrell R. Lindsey, 394th Bombardment Group, 585th Bomb Squadron, United States Army Air Forces, was killed in action at L'Isle Adam, France.

Having studied at Drake University in Des Moines, he had enlisted as an aviation cadet in 1942, and by December of the following year he had achieved the rank of Captain. In February of 1944 he began flying combat missions in Europe in B-26 medium bombers, racking up 143 hours of combat time – it was during his 46th mission that he was killed. He had been on a hazardous mission to destroy the German-held L’Isle Adam railroad bridge over the Seine, and was leading a formation of 30 B-26s. The bridge was of particular importance to the enemy, as it still stood when many other bridges over the Seine had been destroyed, and was required for moving troops, equipment and supplies. The pilots were in no doubt as to the resistance they would face. Attacked by ground fire, Captain Lindsey’s plane was thrown out of formation, but he was able to move back into lead position and continued dropping bombs. With his right engine and left wing on fire, he ordered his crew to bail out - they obeyed until only the bombardier was left, he had wanted to stay in order to lower the wheels to give Captain Lindsey a chance to escape. Captain Lindsey refused, knowing that to do as the bombardier suggested would throw the plane into a spin meaning certain death for them both. Not long after the bombardier had obeyed the order to bail out, one of the gasoline tanks exploded, the plane was seen to go into a steep dive and exploded as it crashed.

Captain Lindsey’s body was not recovered from the crash site, so he was listed as missing in action, presumed killed. He was awarded the Medal of Honour posthumously, the citation for which ends with these words: “All who are living today from this plane owe their lives to the fact that Captain Lindsey remained cool and showed supreme courage in this emergency."

Captain Lindsey, from Jefferson, Iowa, was twenty-five years old and married.

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