Rolling Thunder Illinois Chapter 2

1st. Lt. J. Meagher – Mission Complete 2011

Date

Aug 13 2024

Time

8:00 am - 6:00 pm

Chapter Repatriations

1st Lt. James Meagher

Date of Loss – February 8th, 1944

Date of Repatriation – August 13th, 2011

James Meagher was born on May 30, 1916, in Elgin, Illinois. He served in the 328th Fighter Squadron, 352nd Fighter Group, as a First Lieutenant and Pilot of the P47 #42-8556 during World War II.

On February 8, 1944, 1Lt Meagher took off from airfield Station 141 in Bodney, England, on a bomber escort mission over Germany. At 10:55 H, his plane was shot down by an FW190 fighter in aerial combat. His plane crashed at the town of Burelles, France, 5 km south of Vervins. 1Lt Meagher was declared Missing in Action. His name is memorialized on the Tablets of the Missing, Ardennes American Cemetery, Neupré, Belgium.

After 60 years, this airman’s remains have been recovered, identified, and repatriated to his hometown. The Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), the field investigation and laboratory side of the Pentagon, received information in June of 2006 from a French citizen who had researched the 1944 crash. A team went to France that September and spoke with an 82-year-old man who said his father had recovered remains from the crash site.

By August of 2008, a team went to excavate and recover what they could from the area. Dental records combined with serial numbers on machine guns and identifying parts of the aircraft debris confirmed by July 2009 that the remains were, in fact, Meagher’s.

1Lt Meagher is now buried in the Saint Mary’s Cemetery, Gilberts, Kane County, Illinois, USA.

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