Patrick A. Griffin was born in New Jersey on March 26, 1918. His parents, both from the Irish Free State, were Patrick Griffin, a gardener, and Mary A. Griffin, a clerk. Patrick had two older brothers John and James and a younger sister, Mary. They resided at 181 Highland Road and were members of the Church of the Resurrection. Patrick graduated from Regis High School in NYC and before the war he worked as a bank clerk at Franklin Savings Bank. Patrick enlisted and served as an officer in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II.
Second Lieutenant Patrick A. Griffin was a bombadier on a B-25 Mitchell in the 12th Air Force. The B-25 was an American twin-engined medium bomber manufactured by North American Aviation. It was used by many Allied air forces, in every theater of World War II, as well as many other air forces after the war ended, and saw service across four decades. The B-25 was named in honor of General Billy Mitchell, a pioneer of U. S. military aviation.
USAAF Chronology: MTO Tactical Operations 12th AF
In Italy, medium and light bombers hit communications lines N and NW of the front while fighter-bombers in close support of the Allied ground assault through the Gustav Line blasted gun positions, motor transport, ammunition supplies, bridges, rolling stock and other military targets in the battle area; medium and light bombers also hit harbors and vessels along coasts at Piombino, Talamone, Portoferraio and Ancona.
Patrick A. Griffin was assigned to the 321st Bombardment Group, 446 Bombardment Sqaudron. On May 15th, 1944 his B-25 was on a mission with ten other planes, there target was the railroad bridge at Orvieto, Italy. Patrick was the bombardier on his plane A/C No. 43-27499 and it was piloted by 1st Lt. Rolland R. Othick.
446th Bombardment Sqaudron War Diary
"The 446th was hit hard today May 15,1944 over Porto Ferraio and lost four planes out of nine that flew. The others were shot up quite a bit. Lt. Walsh’s plane burned on landing, the entire crew killed. Another plane crashed when its brakes failed to function – all safe however. Lieutenants Othick and Sampson were shot down over the target; Sampson’s crew after bailing out were all saved by the Air-Sea Rescue unit while Othick’s (Griffin's) plane was seen to land on German controlled Pianosa Island southeast of Elba, presumably safe. The two strategic missions flown this date totaled thirty-eight planes and photos showed both targets – The Orvieto South railroad bridge and the Porto Ferraio decks – plastered with thousand pounders.
Lt. Othick’s plane was badly hit over the target and was reported to have made a successful crash-landing on the Island of Pianosa. It is assumed that the crew members were taken prisoners by the enemy and the following men are presumed to be Prisoners of War, Lts. Othick, Mayfield, Griffin and EM Youngblood, Cobb and Miller."
The undersigned was co-pilot in the lead airplane of the element flying immediately behind Lt. Othick’s airplane. "Flak was heavy, intense, and accurate over the target where Lt. Othick’s airplane was hit. On the breakaway off the target he feathered his left engine. His right engine was smoking badly and oil was coming out of the nacelle. He slid out of the formation with a diving turn to the left and then turned right and headed towards Pianosa Island. The airplane was under control but was losing
altitude very fast when I last saw it before it went beyond my line of vision. I saw no one bail out of the ship and did not see it land.
GEORGE H. GIBBONS,
2nd Lt., A. C.
The undersigned was a waist gunner on the lead ship of the element
immediately behind Lt. Othick’s airplane. "
His airplane did not come into my line of vision until it was approximately five (5) miles off Pianosa Island. At that time the ship seemed to me to be under control, but a trail of black smoke was coming from it. I
watched it until after it had landed on the runway strip on Pianosa Island. We were too high for me to determine whether its wheels were down or the flaps used in the landing, but judging from the short distance the airplane went down the runway, it must have
made a belly landing. I am almost sure the landing was successful because the airplane did not explode upon hitting the runway but created a big could of brown dust. We were too high and too far away for me to determine whether or not anyone got out."
ISOM F. BURROW,
At first presumed to be captured, Patrick and his crew were killed on May 15th, 1944 as a result of their plane being shot down by enemy fire and crash landing on Pianosa Island.
Second Lieutenant Patrick A. Griffin's remains were returned to the U.S. in August 1949 and he is buried at Mt. Calvary Cemetery, White Plains, NY.