Wrestlingworth P38 Lightning

United States Army Air Force Badge

Location: Wrestlingworth, 10th December 1943.

Captain Anthony J Tinto

A P38 Lightning 42-67057 from 338 Fighter Squadron (55 Fighter Group) crashed at Wrestlingworth, Bedfordshire on 10th December, 1943.

American Air Force P38 Lightning
Believed to be an image of Anthony J Tinto USAAF

Whilst based at Nuthampstead, an airfield to the east of the now A10 and some 5 miles south-east of Royston, Tinto took off on 10th December, 1943 in his P38 Lighning for a high altitude training flight. Having reached 30,000 feet, problems developed in the port engine, causing the plane to begin a dive. Tinto stayed with the craft until it had reached a height where he could safely bale out. The pilot landed uninjured, and was able to return to duties. The aircraft crashed at high speed onto a field at Manor Farm, Eyeworth near Wrestlingworth, some 15 miles to the north-west of the airfield. It was totally destroyed, and early reports by the Civil Defence and the Police mis-identified it as an "RAF Fighter".

Tinto later crash-landed his Lightning P38J 42-67791 after a mission over Holland. One source states he was again uninjured, another that his injuries were serious. He was promoted to 2nd Lietenant on 24th February, 1944 and 1st Lietenant on 11th June the same year.

I obtained the image on the left from a French web-site. There is no apparent way of contacting them for permission to use the image, and I can not be absolutely certain the officer in the image is correctly identified. If anyone can resolve this issue, please contact me.