On these Memorial Pages I would like to tell the stories of our veterans of World War Two. If
you know an interesting story and would like to share it with others, just email the educational and patriotic story
to me at email@example.com and I will include it on these pages. There are no restrictions on the branch of service. Army Air corps,
Naval, Infantry, Marines....any branch of service is ok.
"I thought you'd like to add another name to your "Memorial List". Twenty year old Army Air Force 2nd Lt. Howard
Clifton Enoch Jr. was a P-51 Mustang pilot who was killed in action when he was shot down over Germany on March
19, 1945. In addition to other family members he left behind his 17 year old pregnant bride who had their only child two months
Lt. Enoch's remains were recovered not long ago in the former East Germany and returned to America where he was laid
to rest at Arlington National Cemetary. Howard Enoch III, the son he never got to see -, is the Director of the E Paul
Robsham Jr. Theater Arts Center at Framington, Massachussetts. Those of us who are deeply indebted to those who have given
so much -, will never know -, at least until Judgement Day -, how many others like like Lt. Enoch Jr are scattered around
the battlefields of the world. Many of them were blown up in mid air and fell from the skies in
unidentifiable and unrecoverable "bits and pieces". As a father and grandfather -, I can't begin to
imagine the Hell that their families live with for the rest of their lives. They are the unsung and unsaluted patriots
whose war will only end upon their death. There is no Medal big enough to compensate them or express what
we owe them as well." Ivan Fail
Clifton Enoch, Jr. Second
Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Forces Service # O-829832 368th
Fighter Squadron, 359th Fighter Group Entered the Service from: Kentucky Died: 19-Mar-45 Missing in Action or Buried at Sea Tablets of the Missing at Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery Henri-Chapelle,
Belgium Awards: Air Medal, Purple Heart
63 years after death, soldier is going home By James Vaznis Courtesy of the Boston Globe 2 July 2008
His P51D fighter plane under attack by the Luftwaffe, 20-year-old Howard Enoch Jr. ultimately plunged
to the ground in Germany, never to be heard from again.
That was March 19, 1945, and the crash site would become part of East Germany, behind the Iron Curtain,
making it all but impossible for the US government to recover remains of fallen soldiers.
But reunification of Germany more than a decade ago helped the United States strike an agreement
with the government to let the US military search the former East Germany area for remains. That enabled the military to locate
and ultimately identify Enoch's remains and pieces of the wrecked plane.
Now, Enoch's son is planning the burial of a father he never knew.
In a face-to-face meeting in April, two US Department of Defense officials told him of the positive
identifications of the remains, at a gathering of family members of missing soldiers in Connecticut.
"I totally fell apart," said Howard Enoch III, 63, director of the Robsham Theater Arts Center at
Boston College. "It was the bitter sweetness of a dream come true and sadness of the lost years."
The son was born three months after his father's death.
The older Enoch entered the Army on April 15, 1944. He was a second lieutenant when he flew solo
over Germany and was engaged with enemy aircraft 20 miles east of Leipzig when he went down, according to the Defense Department.
Eight years later, the military declared the soldier unrecoverable. "I never held out hope of knowing
what happened to my father," Enoch said in a recent telephone interview.
Four years ago, as part of a review of crash sites in the former East Germany, Defense Department
officials found small fragments of the plane scattered over an area the size of a football field.
Two years later, military investigators returned for an excavation, recovering human remains and
aircraft wreckage. A year later, the remains were sent to a lab for identification. A forensic analysis confirmed the identity
The younger Enoch said that the Army will visit him in Framingham this month to make arrangements
for a burial.
"For so many years, he was resting quietly in that field," Howard Enoch said.
"I think my dad deserves all the recognition and honor I can get for him," he said. "He truly is
Army finds remain of local man's father By By Dan McDonald,
Framingham, Massachusetts, Daily News 5 July 2008
Howard Enoch III keeps a memorial to his father on a shelf in his living room, where black-and-white
photos are joined by military distinctions that include a Purple Heart, air medal and a pilot ring he used to wear, but stopped
for fear of scratching it.
"It's ironic that someone's life is reduced to possessions that can fit into a couple cardboard
boxes," said Enoch.
His father's name is also featured on the Tablets of the Missing at the Henri-Chappelle American
Cemetery in Belgium.
Enoch never knew his father because Second Lieutenant Howard "Cliff" Enoch Jr. boarded a P-51D Mustang
fighter on March 19, 1945, in East Wretham, England, bound for a mission over Halle, Germany, never to return. A firefight
just east of Leipzig, Germany, ultimately caused him to go into a fatal nosedive.
Only 19, he left behind a 17-year-old wife and an unborn son in the hills of western Kentucky.
That son, Howard Enoch III, is now 63 years old and lives on Hilltop Lane in Framingham, Massachusetts.
On April 19, 2008, Enoch learned he would have something more than engravings and tokens of military
merit to remember his father by.
It was on that date the Army told him his father's remains had been identified.
Enoch had long accepted that the unknown would cloud his father's disappearance over eastern Germany.
When he reached the age to comprehend his father's disappearance, his mother had remarried. The
subject of his father was not often broached.
"My mother never talked about my father," said Enoch, who has lived in town for the past 13 years
and serves as a director for a theater arts center at Boston College.
One of the few people who can recall Enoch is distant cousin and Kentucky native R.C. Hamilton.
"He was a nice young man, a good student from what I remember," said Hamilton, 82, from his Kentucky
home. "I recall we used to play together a whole lot. During the Depression, there was not much else to do but visit friends
and kinfolk. I recall he had a few toys I didn't have. I think it's great they found him."
Inside his home nestled in a wooded northwest nook of Framingham near the borders of Sudbury and
Marlborough, Enoch tried to articulate the closure.
"It's hard to describe the bittersweetness," said Enoch, his eyes watering. "I wished he had been
around, and I never expected to know anything about him. It's amazingly powerful."
As it turns out, his father's plane crashed in what would later become Soviet-controlled East Germany,
hampering recovery efforts during the Cold War.
Compounding matters, World War II debris was so commonplace in Germany that a crashed plane was
unlikely to cause much of a stir.
"You can't dig a hole in Germany without hitting munitions or pieces of airplanes or something that
blew up," said Enoch. "So there's just so much there to the local people it's no big deal."
The pilots who were flying with Enoch misidentified the location of the crash site, further complicating
"This is no one's fault. There was no GPS. They were going by landmarks in a country they had never
been in before," said Enoch.
In 2004, German historian Hans Guenther Ploes identified a particular rural area as a potential
location of plane wreckage.
In 2006, U.S. government dig teams sifted through the wreckage and found what at the time were termed
"possible human remains."
"It was the Army, they were being cautious," said Enoch.
The archaeological findings were then sent to a lab in Hawaii for analysis.
The Army studied the geography of the crash, the style and plane identification, and, ultimately,
"They were trying to eliminate all the other possibilities just to make sure this was my dad's crash
site," said Enoch.
Now, Enoch hopes for a military burial at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia by the end of
William W. Patton Born in 1918 in Granby, MO, and enlisting in the Army at the age of 16, William
Wyatt Patton was refused the first time due to his being of a small, thin build. He then forced himself
to eat banana crème and hamburgers to gain weight, so he could reapply three months later, which he did
with success. Incorporated into flight school, he climbed the ladder and became a full-fledged and commissioned
pilot at 20 years of age, a very respectable accomplishment. It was clear that Will Patton was an extremely
competent, determined, and hard worker. The first assignment of the Missouri farm-boy took him to the
Pacific. On December 7th, 1941, he was at Hickam Field when the Japs attacked. Later, he successfully
participated at Midway, downing three enemy planes. Without doubt, Patton was an experienced and skilled
pilot. In May of 1944, he was attached to the 8th Army Air Force, based in England, with the 560th Bomber
Squadron of the 388th Bomb Group flying the B-17 ;Flying Fortress; Bombing missions took him to the heart
of Germany, and, at that time, with fighter escort only part of the way there. The P-47 Thunderbolt did
not have the fuel economy to fly to Germany, fight, and return. However, in November of 1944, the P-51D Mustang was able to do the job. Thus, between the months of May & August, for Lt. Patton, bomber losses were 20% on average, sometimes worse. This made the 10 men B-17 crew highly stressed and very well-seasoned. Finally, Lt. Patton
successfully completed his 25th mission, meaning that his term of being a bomber pilot was over. Afterwards,
in August of 1944, Lt. Patton received an offer to fly the magnificent and gallant P-51D Mustang with
the 3rd Scouting Force at Wormingford, England. What would be the mission? to fly reconnaissance
prior to bombing raids to check visibility, weather conditions, and status of the target. This type of
work was ideally fitted to Lt. Patton, as he knew what conditions were needed for a successful bombing
mission. 3rd Scouting Force. The Scouting Forces were to check for German flak, bad weather, and enemy
activities. This group was created by Colonel Bud Peaslee, commander of the 384th Bomb Group, as he had
suggested this to General James Doolittle in 1944. Just like Indians, Naval convoys, and armored divisions,
the Army Air Corps also had scouts. The 1st Scouting Force (experimental) was at Honington, England on
September 19th, 1944, and was attached to the 364th Fighter Group, which maintained its logistics, and detached
pilots on a 15-day rotational basis. From this base, 107 missions were accomplished, and then the 1st SF was attached to the 857th BG at Bassingbourn, and logged another 24 missions. The 2nd Scouting Force was formed at Steeple Morden, where it received support of the 355th FG. These pilots were gathered from many different fighter units,
and successfully finished their first 136 missions on September 26th, 1944, and the last mission on April
21st, 1945. After these pilots had completed their transition into the P-51 at Goxhill, the 3rd Scouting
Force was formed at Wormingford, with the support of the 55th FG. Not a lot is known of the 3rd Scouting
Force, which had been recognized as a combat unit, when, in 1996, it became known as an auxiliary squadron
of the 55th Fighter Group. At the beginning, the pilots of the 55th FG were detached to fly the P-51D
as scouts, but quickly the older bomber pilots replaced them. The 3rd Scouting Force conducted the first
of its 140 missions in the P-51D on September 15th, 1944, and the last mission on April 21, 1945. The
3rd SF had the uniqueness of having some B-17;s in their fleet, for doing weather reconnaissance over
Grand-Brittany and The peninsula of Upper Normandy. Although the 3rd Scouting Force was
not meant for combat, the outfit downed 22 German fighters while defending bombers. During their 6 months
of existence, the Scouting Units lost 24 pilots: 9 in training and 15 in combat. On January 15th, 1945, Lt. Patton
embarked upon his 60th mission, and had recently written home announcing that he was engaged to be married. Under
the direction of Lt. Col. Vince Masters, eight fighters and eight bombers took off from their base in Wormingford destined for Lechfeld, Germany. They were to do reconnaissance work for a bombing run by the 338th Bomb Group on the Augsburg Train Station. At the English coast, difficulties started. Climbing to an altitude of 11,000 meters (3700
feet), the visibility was found to be quite bad. Twenty minutes into the flight, the 8 Mustangs were struggling
to remain in a tight formation when Lt. Ed Beaty saw two Messerschmitt on his right, which had already
decided to engage them. In order not to compromise the mission, two Mustangs broke formation to move the
two Germans away from the squadron. Before losing all contact with the other pilots, a third pilot left
the squadron in hopes of attracting any other Luftwaffe planes away from his team members. In the thick
fog, different maneuvers made the enemy think that the formation was completely broken up. Since it is
not officially known what happened in the cockpit of Lt. Patton's Mustang, the following lines explain
what may have happened: On board of his P-51 Mustang, Lt. Patton struggled to remain in the formation.
His instrumentation panel began showing alarming signs, and he tried to communicate with his squadron commander,
but his radio produced only inaudible static. His instruments are clouded, and he can no longer trust them. Now
he must face an extremely dangerous situation, best faced by the experienced pilot; and Lt. Patton was. Being
an experienced pilot, William Patton realized that he was in an extremely dangerous situation, and that he had to utilize all his experiences. As explained by Dick Atkins (historian of the 8th AAF), a pilot who cannot depend on his instruments in heavy fog is in trouble. Hence, it is impossible to be confident of maneuvering the airplane.
If the plane would begin to descend to the left, even an experienced pilot might think the descension
to be to the right. If then the plane went into a spiral under these conditions, a pilot could easily
make incorrect corrections in an attempt to correct the situation. And of course, what needed to be done
that wasn't done makes things all the worse. This is what happened to William Patton, and more recently,
John Kennedy, Jr; Three combat planes were lost in the sky, while five others were trying to find their
way. The 15th mission of January was plagued with misfortune. The squadron commander, Vince Masters, sent
an order out to those who could hear it to make a 180-degree turn. Flying
with Lt. Patton,
Lt. Brian J. Booker began the turn, and, in the fog, never saw Lt. Patton again. Lt. Patton did not hear the order, and was
struggling to maintain his P-51, that was rogressively losing altitude in a circular movement to the left. In spite of all
of his efforts with the control stick, he could not regain control of the plane. Without his instruments or visibility, it
was virtually impossible to know whether he was flying level, up, or down towards the ground. Counting on having held the
altitude when he began having instrument difficulties, he estimated the distance to the ground to be 1000 meters (3000 feet).
If he were not to regain control of his machine, he knew what the inevitable tragedy would be, which would happen in minutes
at the most. In a situation like this, explained Dick Atkins, the pilots have a good chance of parachuting out of the plane.
But, at the time, there was not an ejectable seat, and the maneuver which enabled the pilot to be able to bail out was difficult.
It was first necessary to unhook oneself from the cockpit, get out of the seat and then onto the wing, and make sure to clear
the tail when jumping (a common and frequent accident). Overall, a pilot always had the temptation to regain control of his
plane to avoid the decision to abandon ship, which caused a pilot grief, and even humiliation. Probably, William Patton did
not give up fighting for his plane until he saw the ground at 500 meters (1500 feet) below. In the community of Longueville,
France, certain citizens remember to this day the tremendous noise made by the crash. The P-51 Mustang of Lt. William Patton
crashed into the ground. The particular place that Lt. Patton crashed was well known to the French, as it happened to be a
low area that collected water from a spring, and also accepted drainage water from heavy rains. The ground was a bog area,
made of clay and silt, such that it was virtually like quicksand. A farmer's horse had previously walked out into it, and
sank, while onlookers watched, unable to help. Thus, Lt. Patton's Mustang was almost entirely embedded into the soft ground.
The tail was yet visible, and the French knew that it was an American pilot, whom had come to liberate them, yet they could
do nothing; emotion was running high. At the base in Wormingford, nobody worried much about the return of William Patton.
During this era, it was common for pilots to stop in France for minor repairs, before returning to England.
On January 18th, a search began for Lt. Patton since nothing had been heard. Without knowing where to look for him, it was
a difficult task. Hours passed, but Lt. Patton was not found. In Granby, Missouri, the Patton family received, on February
7th 1945, a telegram stating that Lt. Patton was MIA (missing in action). For Rhoda and Robert Patton, this uncertainty raised
many doubts: Is he still living? Wounded? Prisoner? Dead? For many years, Rhoda and Robert Patton maintained contact with
the U.S. Government to find out what really happened to their son. Gradually, while the chances of seeing their son lessened,
the Pattons still remained hopeful. Joyce Montez, a niece of William Patton, recalls that his father would often say that
he had envisioned all the possible scenarios: that William would come one day knocking on the door, or that he had been struck
with amnesia, and lived somewhere in England under another name.
We have grown old with his memory, and now we finally know that he was successful in life, and we are very proud
of him. He died for his country. He is very close to his mother, and he writes her often. Shortly before his disappearance,
she told me that he had written a letter saying that he would marry after the war. He never had the chance, and we never knew
who his fiancée was. A statement made by the North Voice (a French newspaper) on January 17th, 1945 briefly spoke of the incident,
based on the report of a police officer, Lt. Bernard, made on January 16th: At 11:30 a.m. on January 15th, an American fighter
plane came from the North and crashed at Longueville, just 500 meters from the train station. The aircraft was embedded nearly
9 meters into the ground, and was completely destroyed. The pilot was not found. American authorities are at the sight. Since
the crash was unapproachable, it was left as was, and wasn't heard of again until February 22, 2001; 56 years after Lt. Patton
had been declared MIA. Wanting to drain a low area, a French farmer uncovered the cockpit and remains of Lt. Patton and his
P-51D Mustang. This greatly upset some of the local townsfolk, who had been there when the plane had crashed.
The French still felt badly that this pilot, which had come to fight in the name of liberty, had died doing
so. These townsfolk of the village of Feignies, even as badly as they wanted, could not help, due to the ground conditions
at that time. The location of the crash is as follows: The identity of the pilot found at Feignies was not greatly doubted,
since this identity was verified with U.S. Air Force archives as having been in P-51 no. 44-15331, although the identity wasn't
officially confirmed. Following, the pilot's dental x-rays were compared to the original records, in addition to a DNA analysis.
The circumstances in which the wreck was uncovered, then the pilot, whom was still dressed, caused the recollection of the
terms drawn up during a 1947 convention between France and the U.S. which states that all materials of the American Air Corps
removed from French soil would remain property of the U.S. Air Force. The police department of Maubeuge, in addition, started
a procedure to insure that the integrity of a corpse is maintained (article 225-17 of the penal code). This means that anyone
who locates a corpse or parts thereof, must, by penalty of the law, notify the police. In France, the extraction of a wreck
(overall military) can only be accomplished by adhering to strict rules and regulations. Otherwise, serious law violations
would occur. The Mustang was recuperated in parts: the fuselage, prop, engine, gas tanks, radiator, 5 of the 6 machine guns,
and an identification plaque bearing the number P- 51D no. 44-15331. Several remains were found with the pilot: his flying
suit, tie, bomber jacket, parachute, and most importantly, his identification (dog) tags, which read, William W. Patton, 0-758480.
This farmer, whose father was a German POW during WWII, was greatly touched to have unearthed this pilot. Many of the French
citizens in the area were also greatly touched by this event. So, the French scheduled a day of remembrance on January 15th,
2003, including the dedication of a memorial and a special room. Attending the event were Connie Patton (another of Lt. Patton's
nieces), U.S. Ambassadors and Council Members, officers of the U.S. Air Force from Germany, members of the French police,
army, and a French veterans association. After a Catholic mass in Longueville, the group walked to a location near the crash
site where a memorial now stands. During this inauguration, WWII fighter planes passed overhead. The group then moved to Fort
Leveau in the village of Feignies, and the mayor led a ceremony to dedicate a room, assembled by the French, in the fort to
the remembrance of Lt. Patton. The room contains memoirs of Lt. Patton: his parachute, aircraft engine and 50 caliber armament,
and photos. This room shall remain a permanent remembrance of Lt. Patton and the sacrifice he made in the name of freedom.