Augustus Hamilton, Jr.
On July 14, 1944, 1st Lt. Augustus Hamilton's bags were packed to return to his wife and new born son in the States when he volunteered for one last mission. Hamilton's P-47, named "Mrs. Ham/Lil' Ham III" after his wife and the son he had never met, was on an armed reconnaissance flight with the 366th Fighter Squadron southeast of Argentan, France.
Hamilton was flying top cover for the flight leader, Captain Allan Farrow, who just completed a bombing run on a rail yard, when Hamilton and his wingman were jumped by over 20 Focke Wulf 190 fighters. Realizing they were outnumbered five to one, Hamilton bought his squadron mates the time they needed to escape into a cloud bank. Lt. Hamilton was last seen diving on a flight of four German Fighters with another four on his tail. He is believed to have shot down one or two enemy planes before being shot down himself.
Details of Hamilton's fate remained unknown to his family until 1993, when a French historical preservation organization discovered the crash site and recovered Hamilton's dog tags and pieces of the wreckage. Today a monument stands at the crash site honoring his ultimate sacrifice.