Griffeth Harrison Fort (1921-1945)
MC Class: ex-1943
Years at MC: 1939-1940 (Freshman)
Hometown: Rogersville, TN
Life at MC: YMCA Interclass Basketball Tournament (Freshman)
Military Branch: US Army Air Forces
Military Unit: 825th Bombardment Squadron, 484th Bombardment Group, 49th Wing, 15th Army Air Force
Rank: Technical Sergeant (Radio Operator and Waist Gunner)
Medals Awarded: Air Medal
Date Missing: 17 December 1944
Date of Death: 17 December 1944
Location of Death: Near the crossroads leading to Liebau and Wenzeldorf, Czechoslovakia
Circumstances of Death: "On December 17, 1944, Tech. Sergeant Fort perished with the crew of B-24J #38 "Red 38" (42-51835). Bomber #38 was lost to fighter attack with the crew of 1Lt Roger A. Martin on a mission to Odertal, Germany (present day Zdzieszowice, Poland), on December 17, 1944 (MACR #10492). Attacked by an ME-109 piloted by Lt. Kraft from III/JG 300 at about 1205 hrs., bomber #38 crashed near the crossroads leading to Liebau (present day Libinia) and Wenzeldorf (present day Václavov), Czechoslovakia. None of the 11 crew members were able to bail out and all perished within the bomber. Lt. Kraft bailed out after his fighter was hit by one of the waist gunners (Sebelski or Fort). The ME-109 crashed in a garden in Libinia and Lt. Kraft landed uninjured. The crew was buried in a local cemetery. After the war, the bodies were exhumed and sent to the States or to the US cemetery in Saint-Avold, France, depending on the wishes of the families." (Findagrave.com memorial page)
Burial/Memorial Information: McKinney Cemetery, Rogersville, Hawkins County, Tennessee (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/73002413/griffeth-harrison-fort) and memorial at East Tennessee Veterans Memorial, World's Fair Park, Knoxville, Tennessee (https://etvma.org/veterans/griffeth-h-fort-9237/)
Additional Information: After his Freshman year at Maryville College, Griffeth Harrison Fort transferred to the Citadel and graduated in 1945. The Citadel has a memorial website for him: https://www.thecitadelmemorialeurope.org/griffeth-harrison-fort-class-of-1945/.
1944 Alumni Association Information Card
June 4, 1945 Letter from Mrs. Hubert Fort (mother of Griffeth H. Fort)
Undated Missing in Action Notice
January 1, 1946 Article "Sgt. Fort Declared Dead, Listed Missing for Year" in Knoxville Journal
June 9, 1945 Condolence Letter from Dr. Ralph Waldo Lloyd to Mrs. Hubert Fort
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