Leiston Airfield (Station 373) and 357th & 358th Fighter Group Memorial
357th Fighter Group Roll of Honor
Otto Devilbiss “Dittie” Jenkins was born on December 4, 1922, in Pearsall, Texas. He was the son of Otto Carlisle Jenkins and Ora Catherine Devilbiss Jenkins. He served in the 362nd Fighter Squadron, 357th Fighter Group as a First Lieutenant during World War II.
Otto Jenkins was dispatched on an operational mission on March 24, 1945, as white flight leader of the 362nd FS, flying a P-51D-20 #44-63199. It was to be the last mission of his combat tour. Upon return to the field, Lt. Jenkins proceeded to "buzz" the field at low altitude. On several occasions, he flew over the building area at such a low altitude that persons in the vicinity were forced to lay flat on the ground to avoid being hit; the trees and buildings were narrowly missed.
After his 3rd pass, Lt. Jenkins pulled up sharply and attempted to Split-S from approximately 1500 feet. The aircraft was observed to mush at the bottom of the pull-out and one wing hit a tree. The wing was torn off, the aircraft flipped over on its back and hit the ground catching fire and sliding over 100 yards before coming to a stop. The aircraft was demolished and Lt. Jenkins was killed instantly.
1LT Jenkins has been buried now in the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, USA.
Source of information: www.findagrave.com