P47D-28RE 42-29174 506th Ftr Sq 404th Ftr Gp

P47D-28RE 42-29174 506th Ftr Sq 404th Ftr Gp

Date: 14 January 1945

Mission: Armed Recon. Just SE of St Vith

Crash: Just E Heyd

1st Lt Hederstrom Paul Andre Jr O-26222 Pilot KIA

About 14.05, 14 January 1945, the squadron was bombing just southeast od St Vith, Belgium. The plane Lt Hederstrom was flying was hit by enemy anti-aircraft fire while over the target. He called and asked if he was on fire. I told him yhat he was not but that he was smoking and to head for the bomb line. He took a heading of about 300°. I was escorting him and navigating. I corrected the heading to 330° which coursewas affirmed by the ground control network. His plane was losing altitude constantly. The engine of his plane finally froze up due lo lack of oïl. About a minute later we were told that we were over friendly territory by about seven miles. I told him to bail out. He jumped at about 5000′ and I saw his chute open at 2000′. I followed him down and found that his chute had hung up in a tree and he was apparently hanging limp in the harness. About three minutes later an army vehicle came up. I saw that they had found him so started for the field. 1st Lt Barton Christopher

In the Morning of 15 January 1945 the Operatios Section of the 404th Fighter Group received a telephone call from the Combat Operations Section of XXIX TAC, reporting that they had been notified by 51st Hospital that Lt Paul A. Hederstrom, AC, O26222 had died there at approximately 15.30 hours.