Rene A. Therriault

Died: Apr. 12, 1945

European Theater

Mother: Helen G. Therriault, Springfield, MA

Charles Sherrill was his instructor at Douglas. S/N: O-824778. He was in the 15th A.F., 14th Fighter Gp. in Italy.

Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) #139802: On Apr. 11, 1945 he was flying a P-38 (S/N: 44-26027) on a strafing mission in southern Germany. His plane was hit by enemy A/A or small arms fire on his first pass at a locomotive at Landshut, Germany. According to another fighter pilot:

He pulled up to the left, and at an altitude of 1,000 feet he feathered his right propeller. He picked up a heading of 180 degrees and five minutes. Later after radioing that he was going to try to make it across the Russian Lines, he changed his heading to approximately 90 degrees. We followed the Danube River on the N. side then crossed to the S. side just prior to reaching Linz, Austria.

At 1100 hours Lieut. Therriault decided to try to reach Zara, Yugoslavia and after crossing Vienna at 1111 hours, he changed his heading to 180 degrees. At Vienna we had reached an altitude of 7,000 feet and after changing our heading to 180 degrees we gradually began to lose altitude. Lieut. Therriault began to doubt if he could make it to Zara so I proceeded to look for the crash strip (Clina, Yugoslavia) losing sight of him in the thick haze. I last saw him at approximately Topolovac, Yugoslavia, at 1245 hours. He later radioed his position to be over the lakes E. of Sisak, Yugoslavia, and then again to the S. of Sisak on a heading of 240 degrees. At 1307 hours he called that his oil pressure was low and would have to crash land in about three minutes. I estimated Lt. Theriault to be in the vicinity of Lusci Palanka, Yugoslavia when he landed. I was low on fuel so proceeded to Zara where I landed at 1345 hours. I could not contact Lt. Therriault after 1310 hours.

He was declared dead one year later when no word was received about him.

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