John Herman Lightsey, Jr.


Agricultural Engineering

Track 1, 2, 3, 4; Rifle Team 4; A.B.C. Club, Vice-President 4; Freshman Platoon; Pershing Rifles; Master Cadet; Sharpshooter, ROTC Camp, Clemson, SC

Brunson, South Carolina

Army Air Force, First Lieutenant

380th Bomber Squadron, 310th Bomber Group, Medium

Purple Heart; Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters

Dec 25, 1920

Jun 22, 1944

FOD (Finding of Death); Flew 50+ missions as B-25 pilot in the Mediterranean and North Africa before being shot down in the Mediterranean Sea on June 22, 1944. (See Missing Air Crew Report)

Memorial in Brunson Cemetery, Brunson, SC. There is also a memorial to him on the Tablets of the Missing, Florence American Cemetery, Florence, Italy.


Additional Information

Memorialized at Florence American Military Cemetery, Via Cassia, Italy.

ACTIVITY DURING WWII:  310th Bomb Group, 380th Bomb Squad, Pilot of B-25 Mitchell Medium Bombers the day he was on the Mission to Via Cassia, Italy.  Shot-down over the Mediterranean Sea.  He FLEW 50+ MISSIONS AS B-25 PILOT IN THE MEDITERRANEAN AND NORTH AFRICA

His friend, William Alexander, came to visit his parents, Herman and Addie, after he returned and personally told them about their son.

Missing Air Crew Report # 6090 Aircraft S/N 43-4018

Crew List:
P      Lt Frank Peterson
CP    Lt J. H. Lightsey
B      Sgt J.H. Hunt
R      S/Sgt N. C. Morgan
G      Sgt  A. A. Ptach
TG     Sgt T. j. Pizzimenti
From Operational Report 22 Jun 1944: Two aircraft were shot down by flack.  Only one man was saved from the two crews.Eyewitness Statement: The airplane was hit by anti-aircraft fire over the target, burst into flames and went into a vertical dive into the water at the target, Leghorn Harbor Italy.  One parachute was seen.

Lt. Peterson’s aircraft received a direct hit on the right wing from flak, which set fire to the right engine.  This fire soon covered the right side of the plane and the plane went flaming into the sea.  One parachute was seen coming from this plane but no further information is available on the crew.

Copy from 310th Bombardment Group Operations report

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Extra Documents

Vignette in The Echo written by Kelly Durham – An Excellent Account