Manchester Boyington Watson, Jr.
Clemson Flying Cadets 3, 4; Greenville County Club 1, 2, 3, 4; Carnegie Music Society 2, 3; First Sergeants' Club; Marksman, ROTC Camp, Clemson, SC.
He was survived by his wife and daughter, Susan.
Army Air Force, First Lieutenant
23rd Fighter Group, 74th Fighter Squadron, 14th Air Force
Sep 7, 1921
Dec 3, 1945
KIA (Killed in Action) P-51 Mustang crashed during an attack on a Chinese port. (See Missing Air Crew Report (MACR).)
Ridge Spring Cemetery, Saluda County, SC
Additional InformationMACR 10368, Aircraft SN *44-10794, Location: Lu lieng, China 23rd Fighter Group, 74th Fighter Squadron, 14th Air Force Depart from Ken Chow China, 3 Dec 1944, Type of mission: Fighter Sweep Target area: Wuhu, Reason for loss- Due to crash,
Type aircraft P-51 – C11 MustangCrew Member
Pilot, Manchester B. Watson Jr. 1st Lt, 0460014 KIA 1/3/45
Last seen to crash into dock warehouse after making a skip bombing run on a dock area.
The heritage of the 74th Fighter Squadron “Flying Tigers” traces back to the famed American Volunteer Group. The AVG, started by Brig Gen Claire Chennault, provided air defense for China in the early days of World War II. Using P-40 Warhawks, the AVG “Flying Tigers” maintained an amazing kill ratio of 8:1 over the enemy during seven months of combat .
When the United States entered the war in 1941, the AVG was disbanded, reconstituted, and then activated as the 23d Fighter Group on July 4th, 1942. The 74th was one of the original four squadrons in the 23d to see combat action in the Far East. The Fighter Group used P40 Warhawks, and later P-51 Mustangs, to cover a large operational area and diverse combat roles. The area of operation extended beyond China into Burma, French Indochina (Vietnam), and Formosa.
Immediately after graduation from Clemson he entered the Army and transferred to the Air Corps. He received his wings at Moore Field, TX in August 1943. He went overseas April 15, 1944 and served in India and China.