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SSGT James Paul Naughton

SSGT James Paul Naughton

Cascade County, Montana, USA
Death 24 Dec 1944 (aged 20)
Liège, Belgium
Burial Great Falls, Cascade County, Montana, USA
Plot Military Section, Plot 33
Memorial ID 80648536 · View Source
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Staff Sergeant James Paul Naughton, Army serial number 19165833, was born in Montana on February 4, 1924. He was the youngest of six children of Richard Matthew Naughton (17 Feb 1884 – 9 Apr 1934) and Johanna R. (Ryan) Naughton (21 Nov 1889 – 29 Nov 1977), who were born in Missouri. His parents married about 1910, and by 1918 lived at Gilman, Lewis and Clark County, Montana, where his father worked as a 'ditch rider' for the Reclamation Service of the U.S. Government. In 1930 the family lived near Cascade, Cascade County, Montana (close to Great Falls, Montana), and his father worked as a road construction contractor. His father died in 1934, and by 1935 the family lived on County Road in New Deal, Valley County, Montana. He completed four years of high school and worked as a paymaster, payroll clerk, and timekeeper. He was single, without dependents, when he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps at Pendleton Field, Oregon on December 13, 1942. His wartime home of record was Hermiston, Umatilla County, Oregon. After enlisting, he married Barbara L. (Connor) Naughton, and had a son, James Leslie Naughton.

After training, he was assigned as tail gunner on the heavy bomber crew of Lt William J. Waldron. The Waldron crew completed B-17 combat crew training at Ardmore, Oklahoma, and was assigned to the 836th Bomb Squadron of the 487th Bomb Group (Heavy) at Army Air Forces Station 137, near the village of Lavenham, Suffolk, England. The crew arrived at Station 137 by October 19, 1944, and became part of the 8th U.S. Army Air Force in Europe. There is a photo of S/Sgt Naughton with the Waldron Crew at Lavenham posted on the 487th Bomb Group website.

S/Sgt Naughton and five of his crew mates were killed in action on December 24, 1944, when their aircraft, B-17G 43-38926, was shot down by German fighters south of Liege, Belgium. Three men were blown clear and survived when the aircraft exploded in the air. The B-17 crashed near Rouvreux, Belgium, about 15 miles south of Liege. Here is the roster of the Waldron crew on December 24, 1944:

B-17G 43-38926 – 836th Bomb Squadron
• Waldron, William J – 2/Lt – Pilot – Safe
Eshleman, Oscar F – 2/Lt – Copilot – KIA
Shuster, Joseph S – F/O – Navigator – KIA
Neu, Russell C – 2/Lt – Bombardier – Safe
Andrew, Benedict A – S/Sgt – Engineer – KIA
Ferenchak, George J – S/Sgt – Radio operator – KIA
Baganz, Reuben F – S/Sgt – Ball turret gunner – KIA
• Isley, Eugene S – S/Sgt – Waist gunner – Safe
• Naughton, James P – S/Sgt – Tail gunner – KIA

Lt Eshleman, F/O Shuster, and S/Sgt Ferenchak are buried at Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery in Belgium; S/Sgt Andrew is buried at Spring Hill Cemetery in Easton, Maryland; and S/Sgt Baganz is buried at Camp Butler National Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois.

S/Sgt Naughton's remains were returned to the United States and reinterred at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Great Falls, Montana on November 13, 1947. He is buried in the Military Section, Plot 33. His parents and an older brother, Richard T. Naughton (9 Jul 1914 – 9 Nov 1972), are buried at the same cemetery.

1. 487th Bomb Group Association
2. 1930 US Census; Montana; Cascade County; Cascade Town; Cascade School District 3. Naughton, Richard M [sic]. 16 Apr 1930 (his father)
3. 1940 US Census; Montana; Valley County; New Deal; County Road. Naughton, Johanna R. 27 Apr 1940 (his mother)
4. American Battle Monuments Commission
5. Cemetery records of Mount Olivet Cemetery, Great Falls, Cascade County, Montana
6. de Jong, Ivo. The History of the 487th Bomb Group (H). Paducah KY: Turner Publishing, Oct 2004
7. Enlistment Record of James P. Naughton
8. Montana Death Index, 1860–2007. Richard Naugton, male, age 50, died on 9 Apr 1934. (his father)
9. Naughton, Robert L. Personal communication. Nov–Dec 2011 (a grandson of James P. Naughton)
10. Obituaries of James P. Naughton in the Hermiston Herald, Umatilla County, Oregon (vol 38, no. 38, 3 May 1945; and vol 41, no. 12, 30 Oct 1947)
11. Pendleton Field, now Eastern Oregon Regional Airport
12. U.S. Army Air Forces Missing Air Crew Report 11675
13. U.S. Rosters of World War II Dead, 1939-1945
14. U.S. War Department. World War II Honor List of Dead and Missing Army and Army Air Forces Personnel. Washington, D.C., June 1946
15. World War I Draft Registration of Richard Matthew Naughton. 12 Sep 1918 (his father)

Family Members



        JAMES P
   FEBRUARY 4 1924
 DECEMBER 24 1944





  • Created by: Paul Webber
  • Added: 18 Nov 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 80648536
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for SSGT James Paul Naughton (4 Feb 1924–24 Dec 1944), Find A Grave Memorial no. 80648536, citing Mount Olivet Cemetery, Great Falls, Cascade County, Montana, USA ; Maintained by Paul Webber (contributor 47577572) .