Lieutenant Lloyd Donald French

World War II

US Army Air Forces
751st Bomb Squadron, 457th Bomb Group
Service Number: O-711063
Born: about 1922
Inducted: Feb 1941
Missing in Action: Sept 12, 1944 when his B-17 was shot down over Germany
Remains recovered in 1945 and interred,
Plot A, Row 27, Grave 13
Ardennes American Cemetery, Neupre, Belgium

Son of Mr. and Mrs. Jack French, Amarillo, Texas, previously Eckley.

Ardennes AC, Belgium

Photo by ABMC Staff

Amarillo Sunday News-Globe March 8, 1942, pg 7

Brothers in Armed Forces --- extract

It's apparently not uncommon in the Panhandle for brothers to enlist in the armed forces of their country at the same time and stay in the same unit throughout training and actual service.

Pvt. William P. French and Sgt. Lloyd Donald French, sons of Mr. and Mrs. Jack French of 1003 Buchanan Street, are both serving in the army air corps but at different fields.

Private French enlisted in the air corps in June of last year and is now stationed at San Bruno, Cal. He was located at March Field, Cal. until entering school at Glendale, where he was graduated from the Wright Technical School Feb. 3. Only 19, he is a graduate of Amarillo High School.

Sergeant French enlisted in the air corps in February, 1941, and was stationed at Brooks field, San Antonio, for some time, later transferring to Las Vegas, Nev., and the air corps gunnery school. Twenty years of age, he is also a graduate of Amarillo High School.

Amarillo Sunday News-Globe July 11, 1943, Sec 2, pg 8 - extract

Large Class of Texans Enroll As Pre-Flight Candidates

San Antonio Aviation Cadet Center, July 10. -- Texas sons, 691 eager youths hailing from the sandy fringes of the gulf, the windy reaches of the panhandle and the acrid plains, comprise one of the largest classes of Texans ever enrolled in preflight school here.

The cadets are now engaged in the second phase of ground school instruction and within a few weeks will graduate and be sent on to primary flying schools.

Of the 691 Texans entering the preflight pilot training at the San Antonion Aviation Cadet Center this week, nine are Amarilloans. They are: Robert B. Atkinson, John Morgan Berrey, George L. Christokis, Earle H. Christian Jr., Manley G. Cooper, Leslie H. Echart, Lloyd D. French, James W. Hembree and Eugene R. Lemmon.

Amarillo Globe February 24, 1944, pg 7

Lemon, French Graduate

Lloyd D. French and Eugene R. Lemon are among the newly commissioned combat pilots from Amarillo.

Lieutenant French received his commission and wings from Pampa Army Air Field and Lieutenant Lemmon received his commission and wings from Lubbock Army Air Field.

Amarillo Sunday News-Globe October 1, 1944, pg 2

Lloyd D. French Lost in Combat

Lt. Lloyd D. French was lost in combat over Germany Sept. 12, the War Department has notified his family.

The missing pilot had been overseas since June.

Lieutenant French enlisted in the Air Corps in February, 1941. He served at Brooks Field at San Antonio and at the gunnery school at Las Vegas, Nev., before beginning flight training. He won his wings and commission at Pampa Army Air Field, Feb 8.

Son of Mr. and Mrs. Jack French, 1003 Buchanan Street, he is 22 years old and a graduate of Amarillo High School. His wife lives in Denver, Colo.

Yuma Pioneer October 5, 1944
Eckley News Column

Word has been received by relatives here that Lt. Don French, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jack French, now of Amarillo, TX, formerly of Eckley and Wray, is missing in action since September 12th. Don, who attended high school here, is very well known and has been piloting a B-17 flying fortress in the European Theatre. All his friends sincerely hope that the word missing is correct and that he will come thru.

Amarillo News-Globe October 14, 1945, pg 3

Dies in Action
(photo above)
Amarillo Pilot Lost in Reich.

Mr. and Mrs. Jack French, 1003 Buchanan, received word yesterday their son, Lt. Lloyd D. French, formerly reported missing in action, is now known to have been killed in action over Germany, Sept. 12, 1944.

The lieutenant, 22 years old, was co-pilot on a B-17. He enlisted in the Army Air Forces in February 1941. After being stationed at Brooks Field, San Antonio and the flexible gunnery school at Las Vegas, Nev., Lloyd signed up for flight training. He won his wings at Pampa Army Air Field on Feb. 8, 1944.

Lloyd, a graduate of Amarillo High School, is survived by his parents, his wife, Mrs. Myra French, now living in Denver, and two brothers, William and Robert, both in the service in the Pacific.


Amarillo News-Globe clippings provided by Gayle Brown, Amarillo Public Library.

Lt Lloyd D. French was credited to Denver, Colorado, in the US Army's 1946 Honor Roll listing those who had lost their lives in WWII. He is credited to Texas in both the ABMC overseas cemetery and WWII Memorial databases.

Lt French was the copilot of "American Eagle", a B-17G bomber (sn 42-31383), which was the only plane the 457th Bomb Group lost on the group's 121st combat mission, Sept 12, 1944, to bomb the aluminum works at Lauta, Germany. German FW-190 fighters shot the bomber down near Biesenthal, Germany. According to eyewitness reports from that day American Eagle took cannon shells in the cockpit and bomb bay. The plane spiraled down, then caught fire and exploded. The only survivor from the crew was the pilot who somehow survived the explosion and bailed out of the wreckage of the cockpit at 800 feet above the ground. He spent the rest of the war as a POW. After the war the remains of six of the crew were recovered and interred at the Ardennes American Cemetery indicated below by "AD".

Crew of American Eagle
Pilot - Lt. Harry H. Selling - POW
Copilot - Lt. Lloyd D. French - KIAAD
Navigator - Lt. Robert F. Marcum - KIAAD
Bombardier - Lt. Howard L. Peterson - KIAAD
Engineer - Sgt James P. Shadman - KIA
Radio - Sgt Edwin C. Krueger - KIA
Left Waist Gun - Sgt Donald W. Conley - KIAAD
Ball Turret - Sgt Stephen V. Gallucci - KIAAD
Tail Gun - Sgt Leo A. Ryder - KIAAD
(If this crew list is complete it appears the mission was flown without anyone on board to man the second waist gun.)

Mission and crew information provided by the 457th Bomb Group Association website.

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