1stLt Robert G. O'Brien (prior page)

42-105925

 

On 12 October 1944, a P-40N-6, # 42-105925, assigned to 10th Air Force, 8th Photo Reconnaisance Group, 20th Tactical Reconnaisance Squadron, departed the airfield at Tingkawk Sakan, Burma, on a reconnaissance mission of the bridges for the railroad at Mandalay-Myitkyina. The aircraft had a mid-air collision with a P-47 making a target pass at coordinates SG8510 (Burma map; scale – ¼” to 1 mile). The P-40 flown by Maj. Lytch crashed and burned. He was killed in the action. The pilot was Major Angus F. Lytch, Jr., # 0-659386. Two pilots who saw the collision were 2ndLt Harvey L. Philpotts, 0-798165, and 1stLt Charles G. Smith, 0-664072.

 

2ndLt Philpotts reported: He was Maj. Lytch’s wingman as they flew north along the RR track south of Pinwe at about 150’. Philpotts was at about 200’. He saw 2 P-47 fighters ahead coming in from 225º in a dive for a strafing or bombing run. He yelled to Maj. Lytch that P-47s were making passes straight ahead and Philpotts chandelled his P-40 to the right to about 800’. He lost sight of Maj. Lytch for about 4 seconds. Philpotts leveled off at 800’ and turned left to find Maj. Lytch. He saw him on the prior course, trailing white smoke in a roll. Philpotts followed. Maj. Lytch continued on course for about a mile, losing altitude. He crashed into some trees and Philpotts saw a big flame from the crash. Philpotts notified the P-47s that they were P-40s. He saw Maj. Lytch’s P-40 burning and turned back toward Tingkawk Sakan. He advised 2 box-car aircraft but got no reply. He landed at “Hardtack,” (Tingkawk Sakan) and reported.  Capt. Clifton A. Kramer led a search with 3 other P-40s and found the crashed P-40 at SG8510 coordinates and photographed the crash. They saw no sign of Maj. Lytch for a 20-mile search radius. One of the P-40s dropped a belly tank with emergency aid near the crash.

 

LYTCH, ANGUS FERGUSON, JR., Major, # 0-659386, USAAF

 

Angus F. Lytch, Jr., was born on 14 September 1918 in Laurinburg, North Carolina to Anguson Ferguson Lytch (1874-1959) and Ethel Archie (Gibson) Lytch (1888-1980) (married 18 August 1915 in Scotland, NC). Siblings included Katherine Calhoun (Lytch) Andrews (1916-1977) and Hector McNeil Lytch (1923-2004).

 

He registered for the WW II draft on 16 October 1940, employed by Holly Smith Pictures, Inc., and described himself as 5’7”, 145 lbs, with black hair and gray eyes. He enlisted in the USAAF as an aviation cadet in Charlotte, North Carolina, on 3 September 1941. He attended flight schools in Maxwell Field, Alabama, Brooks Field, Texas, Randolph Field, Texas, Pope Field, North Carolina, and Key Field, Mississippi, before being sent overseas to 10th Air Force in India. On 12 October 1944, a P-40N-6, # 42-105925, assigned to 10th Air Force, 8th Photo Reconnaisance Group, 20th Tactical Reconnaisance Squadron, departed the airfield at Tingkawk Sakan, Burma, on a reconnaissance mission of the bridges for the railroad at Mandalay-Myitkyina. The aircraft had a mid-air collision with a P-47 making a target pass at coordinates SG8510 (Burma map; scale – ¼” to 1 mile).