Patrick A. Griffin never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on March 26, 1918 in New Jersey. His parents Patrick and Mary were both born in Ireland. His father worked as a building poster and later as a gardener. Patrick had two older brothers and one younger sister. By 1940 Patrick was living at home in White Plains, New York and had completed four years of high school. He was probably attending college.
He enlisted in the Army Air Forces in May 1942. He became a second lieutenant and bombardier in the 446th Bombardment Squadron, 321st Bombardment Group, 12th Air Force which was equipped with B-25 Mitchells. The 321st BG began flying missions in March 1943 from its base in Algeria. By spring 1944 it was based in Corsica.
The mission on May 15, 1944 was to bomb the railroad bridge at Orvieto Station in Italy. Lt Griffin's plane was heavily damaged by flak over the target. One engine was knocked out and the other one damaged. It made a belly landing on an airfield on the island of Pianosa which is situated between Italy and Corsica. Lt. Griffin was either killed by flak or the crash landing. The other five men were captured and made POWs.
His grave is at Mt. Calvary Cemetery in White Plains, New York.
Last year on this date I profiled P-40 pilot John Sauber. You can read about John here.
On behalf of the fallen, if you would like to see more people become aware of this project to honor the WW2 fallen, be sure to share with others on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks for your interest!
I created this video to explain why I started this project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY.
Please consider joining the public Facebook group to increase the exposure of this project. Go to: WW2 Fallen 100