44-11311         MACR 12619

 

On 21 February 1945 a P-51D-6NT, # 44-11311, assigned to 14th Air Force, 51st Fighter Group, 26th Fighter Squadron, Laohokow, China, departed the airfield on a mission to dive bomb Nanking, China. It went into a flat spin and lost a wing over the target and crashed on the tip of the Island off Nanking. The pilot was 2ndLt Grady D. Cornwell, # 0-827390. 1stLt R. M. Salisbury, 0-744766, saw the crash.

 

CORNWELL, GRADY DEWITT, Second Lieutenant, # 0-827390, USAAF

 

Grady D. Cornwell was born on 5 July 1920 in Tennessee to Francis Othyle Cornwell (1888-1923) and Ciella (Taylor) Cornwell (1889-1936) (married 13 September 1907, Jackson, TN). Siblings were Ethel Beatrice (Cornwell) Fike (1910-2008), Thelma (Cornwell) Chadwell (1913-1981), Clyde Francis Cornwell (1914-1942), Berthashire Cornwell (1914-    ), Hazel Hope (Cornwell ) Gardner (1918-1998), and Ellen Catherine (Cornwell) Bowman (1922-2015). He married Emma Louise Cotter on 16 October 1943 in Morgan, Alabama.

 

After enlisting in the USAAF, he completed flight instruction through advanced school and was assigned to fly the North American P-51 Mustang. He earned his commission and pilot wings. He was sent overseas through India to China. On 21 February 1945 a P-51D-6NT, # 44-11311, assigned to 14th Air Force, 51st Fighter Group, 26th Fighter Squadron, Laohokow, China, departed the airfield on a mission to dive bomb Nanking, China. It went into a flat spin and lost a wing over the target and crashed on the tip of the Island off Nanking. 1stLt R. M. Salisbury, 0-744766, saw the crash. He is remembered on the tablets of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. A memorial marker was placed in the Nashville National Cemetery, Madison, Davidson Co., Tennessee. He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.

 

His brother, Clyde F. Cornwell, born 1 October 1914, served in the U.S. Army, First Lieutenant. He died 4 June 1942 and is buried in the Nashville National Cemetery, Madison, Davidson Co., Tennessee.