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Bernard L. McGrattan

335th Fighter Squadron, 4th Fighter Group

Captain, U.S. Army Air Forces

Entered the Service from:




Grave Location:

Plot B, Row 3, Grave 41

Capt. Bernard L. “Big Mac” McGrattan, a fighter pilot in the 4thFighter Group during World War II, was born in New York in 1920. In 1941, while the United States was still neutral, he volunteered for the Royal Canadian Air Force, and served in England with the British Royal Air Force as an operational pilot before receiving a commission as a Flight Officer in the U.S. Army Air Forces on May 26, 1943. He joined the 335thFighter Squadron of the elite 4thFighter Group.  After deployment to Europe, the 4thFighter Group, nicknamed the “Debden Eagles,” was re-equipped with Mustang P-51s in January 1944. McGrattan excelled and became an ace by scoring eight-and-a-half kills in the spring of 1944, greatly contributing to the excellent record of the unit. It destroyed more enemy aircrafts in the air and on the ground than any other fighter group of the Eighth Air Force.

McGrattan flanked by assistant crew chief Cpl. Peter Sisco and crew chief S/Sgt Sy Koenig.

On June 6, 1944, McGrattan, now promoted to section leader, was chosen for bomber escort. He was shot down and killed over the town of Rouen, France on D-Day. He was 24 years old.

P-51 Mustangs of the 4th Fighter Group fly over England in 1944.

Awards: Distinguished Flying Cross with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters

Distinguished Flying Cross

Bernard L. McGrattan is buried in Normandy American Cemetery Plot B, Row 3, Grave 41.