James Rast Crockett was the son of Clarence Guy Crockett and Mary Gertrude Rast. Brother of William Cleveland Crockett and Clarence Guy Crockett Jr.

1st Lieutenant James Rast Crockett, US Army Air Forces, was assigned to the 503rd Fighter Squadron, 339th Fighter Group, flying P-51’s out of Fowlmere, England. It was the last fighter squadron assigned to the 8th Air Force in April 1944.

He was Killed in Action on the 19th of May 1944 and is interred at the Lorraine American Cemetery, St-Avold, France, located at D,13,14.

James Crockett was the pilot of aircraft P-51B-15 with serial number 42-106785. He was flying a bomber escort mission to Berlin, Germany.

Statement of 2nd Lt Joseph Wolfort:
On May 19, 1944 at 1530 hours I was flying Lt. J.R. Crockett’s wing while strafing a train. As I started down to make a second pass Lt Crockett was firing on the train. It appeared to me as he started to pull up from this pass he either mashed into the train or misjudged and flew into it. I thought that I saw a piece of his airplane fly through the air. It appeared to be a part of the tail. I was unable to see anymore due to the steam from the locomotive. I did not actually see him hit the locomotive but was unable to contact him on the radio after this, and just prior to this second pass we had perfect communication.

The Chattanooga Daily Times, 1 June 1944
First Lt. James R. (Jimmy) Crockett, son of Mr. and Mrs. C.G. Crockett of South Moore Road, has been missing since a flight over Germany May 19, his parents were notified by the War Department. Lt. Crockett, pilot of a Mustang fighter plane was acting flight commander and had been on several missions over Europe before being listed missing in action. He wrote his parents on May 18 that he had shot down his first German plane. He has two brothers, Pvt. C.G. Crockett Jr. and S/1C Billy Crockett, also in the service. C.G. is now stationed in England and Billy is with the navy int he South Pacific. The airman is a graduate of Central High School, where he was a member of the band. He was employed by the Western Electric Company Before entering the air force in March, 1942.

Picture from the Central High School Yearbook 1941.

  • Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Date of birth:
  • 16 August 1922
  • Date of death: 19 May 1944
  • County: Hamilton
  • Service Branch: Army/Army Air Forces
  • Division/Assignment: 503rd Fighter Squadron, 339th Fighter Group
  • Theater: Europe
  • Conflict: World War II
  • Awards: Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart
  • Burial/Memorial Location: Lorraine American Cemetery, St. Avold (Moselle), France
  • Location In Memorial: Pillar X, Bottom Panel
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