Warren Belknap Corwin was born on July 7, 1922, in Chester Hills, Pennsylvania. He was the first child of Raymond W. and Ruth Anetta Belknap Corwin. He had a younger brother, Luel, who was killed in World War II as a Sergeant in the Infantry. He had a sister born in 1928. By 1930, the Corwin family lived in Haddonfield, New Jersey where Raymond was an engineer in the illumination industry.
He was stationed at Leiston Airfield, England, and assigned to the 362nd Fighter Squadron, flying P-51-type aircraft. His last mission, on November 8, 1944, was an escort mission for bombers targeting the oil facilities at Merseburg, Germany. His wingman, Lt. James Kenney, relates the events in his encounter report.
Lt. Corwin's aircraft engine had been running rough, so after the bomb drop, he set a course for home, accompanied by Lt. Kenney. About 1 hour into the return (approximately 1230 hours), they overtook a box of B-17s on the same course, but without escorts. The engine had returned to operational status, so Corwin and Kenney fell in with the bombers as escorts, climbing to 22,000 feet.
Suddenly, a ME-262 was seen on a course away from the bombers. The German suddenly reversed his course and made a firing pass at the bombers. Kenney and Corwin turned into the ME-262 and engaged him, Corwin in trail to Kenney. Kenney fired a burst at the German and saw a puff of red smoke from one engine. The ME-262 dove for the deck, and Kenney, attempting to get into firing position, overshot the aircraft twice. Corwin overshot at least once. Finally, Kenney closed to within 200 yards and fired again. Smoke began pouring from the right nacelle, and the pilot bailed out at around 4,000 feet.
In the melee, Corwin reported he had been hit, with his aircraft losing part of one wing and himself being badly wounded. Kenney could not get a visual on Corwin, so he was never seen or heard from again.
1LT Corwin died on November 9, 1944 at the age of 22, and is now buried in the Saint James the Less Episcopal Church Cemetery, Scarsdale, Westchester County, New York, USA.
Source of information: www.findagrave.com
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