I have recently been contacted by an amateur historian in France who is doing research leading up to a celebration of the 80th anniversary of the liberation of the Vannes, France. The 425th NFS was stationed in Vannes and the town plans to pay tribute to the members of the 425th NFS and honour 3 members who died during missions flown out of Vannes airfield (1st Lt. Nelson D. WILLIS (pilot) – August 26, 1944 / 2nd Lt. Joseph C. WEBB (pilot) and 2nd Lt. Robert E. English (radar-operator) – August 28, 1944)
The historian found this website thru a You Tube video that was produced by George Hoover (you can find the link here). There are several shots from Vannes along with a few of the P-61 that may have flown out of that airfield.
The celebration in Vannes is scheduled for 2024.
I am after any of the following information:
o Contact information (email or home addresses) for family members of anyone who served in the 425th NFS.
o photos from Vannes that may have been taken by members of the 425th during their time there.
o A list or photos of P-61s flown out of Vannes. I currently believe the “Plenty of Pissed Off Patootie III” and “Wabash Cannonball IV” were flown out of Vannes. Others???
o Contact information for Jerry Moore, Charlene Smith or Thomas/Rita Rose who attended the 2007 NFS Reunion
If you have a anything to share, please contact me via the Contact Us link on this website, or place a comment on this post with details on how I can get in touch with you.
3 thoughts on “Request for Information on 425 NFS – Vannes, France”
Jackie, I’m a civilian affiliated with the 425th FS at Luke AFB, and will be in France the end of May. I plan to take coins from the 425th and try to locate the grave sites of Nelson Willis and Bruce Heflin. If you have ANY information on these guys, or current relatives, I’d love to contact them before my trip. Is there anything I can do for you in your own research or celebration of these young men, I’d be happy to help. Thanks. Tom
My father in law (L.G. Lewis) was the commanding officer. I have also been in touch with the historian for Vannes commemoration
My uncle – 1st Lt Carl H Byars – was a P61 pilot of the 425th NFS from its organization until his death – KIA Dec 27, 1944. His radar operator – 2nd Lt Emil Brolick – was also KIA. They were flying plane # 42-5584 when they were shot down by friendly fire over airfield A94 on the return – about 1AM – from a night mission. Their home field was A82 some 12 miles away. Both are buried in the Lorraine American Cemetery near St Avold, France