LICHTENBERGER, Walter F. (1918-1942), U.S. Army Air Force pilot and Second Lieutenant who was killed on April 30, 1942 in a P-38 he was piloting. He was a part of the 94th Pursuit Squadron.
Lichtenberger is buried in Graceland Cemetery, Decatur, Illinois.
In the News~
April 30, 1942: “One notable P-38 open-space loss occurred at Catalina Island on April 30, 1942 when a young U.S. Army Air Force pilot, Second Lieutenant Walter F. Lichtenberger, assigned to the Ninety-fourth Fighter Squadron at March Field in Riverside COunty, experienced loss of power in is port engine and attempted to make an emergency landing at the island's airport. In doing so, he slowed his Lightening down too much and crashed on a small hill north of the landing field. Because the P-38F remained largely intact, it was hoped that the pilot had survived, but G forces on impact proved to be too much for his body to withstand. The wreckage of P-38F 41-7498 was disassembled and mostly moved, as so much of the airframe could be usefully recycled for spare parts. The author visited this historic micro site in recent years and was surprised to find parts with the Lockheed prefix numbers still intact.” [G. Pat Macha. Historic Aircraft Wrecks of Los Angeles County (2014) p. 37.