James William Browning was born on October 21, 1917, in Syracuse, Kansas. He was the son of Rola Browning and Sidnie Watson Browning. He joined the Army Air Corps in February 1942 and was given his wings on August 17, 1943. He joined the 363rd Fighter Squadron while it was still training in Nevada. He was assigned to Capt. ‘Bud’ Anderson’s flight and stayed with it during training and combat. Later Browning became a flight leader himself and shot down 7 enemy planes [5 x Me109, 0.5 x Fw190*, 1.5 x Me410].
James named his first P-51 ‘Gentleman Jim’. After Browning’s first tour ended in August 1944, he went home for a short while and then returned to the 357th in November for a second tour. Sadly on February 9, 1945, James Browning was reported Missing in Action after he failed to return after an escort mission. Apparently, after being bounced by Me-262 jet fighters Browning was involved in a mid-air collision and his plane crashed with him in it. Browning is labeled as one of the heroes of the 357th Fighter Group.
According to German records, Browning's body was recovered by the Germans and buried, although the site has never been determined. In May of 1949, Hqs, American Graves Registration Command declared the body of Captain James W. Browning was not recoverable. He is listed on the Tablets of the Missing at the American Military Cemetery in Luxembourg.
Source of information: http://www.americanairmuseum.com, https://airforce.togetherweserved.com