1st Lt Paul Graham Mitchell
June 26, 1919 – August 11, 1943
Class:  42-F-SE
Graduation Date: 7/3/1942
Graduation Rank: 1st Lt
Unit: 33rd Fighter Group, 99th Fighter Squadron
Service # O-790461

Paul was born in 1919. He was the son of Harry G. Mitchell and Pauline Graham. He was born in the District of Columbia, attended Birney School, and graduated from Cardozo High School cadet corps as a major. He was attending Hampton institute when he registered for the draft in 1940.  He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in structural engineering. After graduating, he worked with the director of the Building and Grounds Department at Howard University. After he was drafted, Paul entered the Tuskegee Air Pilot Program, earning his wings and commission on July 3, 1942. He was assigned to the 99th Squadron based in North Africa at the time. In April of 1943 his squadron began the trip overseas, embarking from New York to Casablanca, Morocco and then Tunisia.

Just one month after landing in the North African Theatre, Paul was sent to a specially prepared airdrome to receive combat training to carry out a successful mission on the Italian island of Pantelleria. He and his fellow airmen flew P-40 Warhawks as part of the air cover for bombers that destroyed the Italian base when it had been taken over by the enemy. In early August of 1943, Lt. Paul G Mitchell flew from a field in Sicily to dive bomb enemy troops and installations on the islands after it had been invaded.

On August 11, 1943, Paul crashed his P-40 Warhawk in midair with another plane in his formation. He was the 3rd Tuskegee fighter pilot to be lost in action. In December he was posthumously awarded the Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster to the Air Medal for “meritorious achievement while participating in 10 sorties against the enemy”. A housing project was erected in his honor at the Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama.  A memorial service was planned for Paul at St. Phillip’s Church in Washington DC on Sept 25, 1943.

In July of 1948, his body was returned to the United States for burial in Arlington Cemetery. On July 26th, a reburial service was held at Arlington Cemetery.

Sources:
Findagrave.com
HonorStates.org
WikiTree.org

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