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First Name: James

Last Name: Lear

Birthplace: USA

Gender: Male

Branch: U.S. Army Air Forces (1941 - 1947)

Home of Record: LA
Middle Name: B.

Date of Birth:

Date of Death: 01 May 1943

MIA Date: 01 May 1943

Rank: First Lieutenant

Years Served:
James B. Lear

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


James B. Lear
First Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Forces

James B. Lear lived in the Louisiana Methodist Children's Home (orphanage/residential home), as did his brother, George Aaron Lear. Private First Class George Aaron Lear was also killed in action in the Far East Theater of Operations during World War II (Honoree Record ID 314559).

James graduated Magna cum laude from Louisiana Tech in 1940. He taught in the Louisiana Methodist Children's Home mission school at Houma, LA, for one year. He entered the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1942.

On 1 May 1943, First Lieutenant James B. Lear (ASN O-662806) was serving as Co-Pilot of B-17F Flying Fortress Bomber SN 42-5422 with the 423rd Bombardment Squadron, 306th Bombardment Group (Heavy), Eighth Air Force, the oldest operational Bomb Group in the 8th AF.

On that day, 1LT Lear’s unit was in action against German forces during a bombing mission on the German U-Boat yards at St. Nazaire, France. His plane was shot down and crashed into Brest Harbor at Brest, France. 1LT Lear was listed as Missing in Action. [Missing Air Crew Report 15619]

Medals, Awards and Badges

Purple Heart
American Campaign Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with Bronze Star
World War II Victory Medal
Army Air Force Pilot Badge


The remains of First Lieutenant James B. Lear have never been recovered. He is memorialized by having his name inscribed on the Tablets of the Missing at the Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial in Coton, South Cambridgeshire District, Cambridgeshire, England.


Honoree ID: 58615   Created by: MHOH




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