John Robert Calhoun Griffin


Textile Engineering

Phi Psi 3, 4; Honor Council 4; Clemson Flying Cadets 3, 4; Marksman, ROTC Camp, Clemson, SC.

Anderson, South Carolina

Mother - Mrs. J. R. C. Griffin, Sr. Also surviving were 3 sisters, Mrs. Armstead Pruitt and Mrs. Bill Bowie of Anderson, and Mrs. Julian M. Hare of Washington, DC, and 3 brothers, Lieutenant Colonel Louis G. Griffin of Randolph, TX; Roy Griffin of Anderson; and Frank M. Griffin of Charleston.

Army Air Force, First Lieutenant

97th Fighter Squadron, 82nd Fighter Group

Purple Heart, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 8 Oak Leaf Clusters

Dec 10, 1920

Jul 22, 1944

KIA (Killed in Action). He was the pilot of a P-38 Lightning and was killed over Ploesti, Romania. (See Missing Air Crew Report)

Old Silver Brook Cemetery, Anderson, SC 


Additional Information


Lieutenant Griffin entered the Army on August 16, 1942 and received his commission and wings on March 25, 1943 at Spencer Field, AL.  He was a member of a top-ranking fighter group based in Italy.  His mission was presumably to strafe targets in the Romanian oil fields.

Missing Air Crew Report #: 7003; Aircraft Model:  P-38 J15 LO; S/N#: 43-28258

Organization: Location: Vincenzo, Italy, 15th AF; Group: 82nd Fighter Group
Squadron: 97th Fighter; Place of departure: Vincenzo, Italy
Target or Intended Destination:  Zilistea, A/D Romania; Type of Mission: Strafing
Date: 22 July 1944; Time: 10;18; Location of Crash: 15 mi E of Zilisten A/D
Number of Person Aboard Aircraft-  Crew: 1; Passengers: 0 Total: 1

List of Crew:
Lt. Griffin, John Robert Calhoun – Pilot

Narrative or eye witness statements: Lt. Griffin’s plane was attacked by 5 F190s from 5 o’clock.  He turned into them then the P-38 J was hit in right engine and the right wing caught fire and then broke off.  The plane crashed from 200 ft and exploded.  Lt. Griffin attempted to bail out but was unable to.

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Extra Documents

Vignette in The Echo written by Kelly Durham – Griffin and the Gabelschwanz-Teufel