Barnsdall, Oklahoma - WWII
Photo on the left is a photograph of 2nd Lt. Charles R. Schleifer as shared by Clint Daniel.
Clint Daniel of Southern California wrote, "Hello, I came across your terrific website while doing some WWII research. I thought you might find the following link on my WWII website Navigation: Individual Service Stories - Mystery Solved 1945 to 2006 interesting, relating to WWII and Barnsdall, Oklahoma, my family's home town.
The above linked page is dedicated to all of the photo-recon pilots who took flight during the war, and Barnsdale, Oklahoma, the small town where this story took place.
The story starts out, " Over the years, I have heard the story many times. It occurred while my father was growing up in his hometown of Barnsdall, Oklahoma (Osage County) during the war. Over and over, he related the story to me in exactly the same way. He recalled seeing two planes, that he identified as P-38's, dog-fighting at high altitude over his home town. At 13 years old, he was already an admirer of the P-38 from the magazine articles he had seen and could not resist watching this display taking place before him.
The next paragraph continues the story, "After several minutes, he noticed that one of the P-38's was diving down at a high rate of speed and appeared to spiral a little as it came down. He recalled hearing the engines sounding as though they were at full throttle, making a very loud screaming sound. As the P-38 rushed closer to the ground, it appeared that the pilot was attempting to roll the aircraft into an inverted attitude. My dad guessed that the pilot was attempting to bail out of the aircraft. The P-38 remained inverted and struck the ground a short distance outside of town. Like many others, my father ran to the nearby crash site. When he arrived there, he recalled that the majority of the plane had all but disintegrated upon impact and caught fire. It was obvious that the pilot had been killed. My father found a small piece of the aircraft and
kept it for many years, remembering the dreadful event he had witnessed. Once I began collecting WWII aviation related items, he gave the piece of metal to me and related the above story to me many times. Each time, the story was told with the exact same details … An F-5, the reconnaissance version of the P-38, had in fact crashed 2 miles west of Barnsdall, Oklahoma on July 2, 1945. The pilot killed in the crash was identified as 2nd Lt. Charles R. Schleifer, ASN 0-705999." - Click the above link for the rest of the story!
"Again, you have a terrific website and I enjoyed reading many of the articles! All the best from Southern California." -- A website celebrating the history of the American military aviator!
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Comments: Linda, thank you for sharing this story. Remembering the service of these fine young men is the least we can do for our veterans like 2nd Lt. Charles R. Schleifer. Thank you! ~C.E. Daniel 2010-09-21 19:31:59
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