Linn County

1st Lt Shannon Eugene Estill
Born 26 Jun 1922
Died 13 Apr 1945




1st. Lt. Shannon Eugene Estill
June 26, 1922 ~ April 13, 1945

Brothers Wesley Boyd and Shannon Estill attended Cedar Rapids high school. During World War II, Wesley served in the South Pacific with the U. S. Navy; older brother Shannon served with the 428th Fighter Squadron, 474th Fighter Group of the U. S. Army Air Force in Europe.

On April 13, 1945, the 428th Fighter Squadron took off from Staffiedl Air Base with the mission of finding and eliminating German tanks near Torgau, Germany. While attacking these targets, 1st Lt. Shannon Estill’s P-38J Lightning fighter was struck by 88-mm enemy anti-aircraft. It was a direct hit in the middle of the fuselage which caused the aircraft to explode immediately and crash.

Due to the location of the attack, U. S. military personnel could not enter the vicinity during wartime to recover the remains.

1st Lt. Estill’s status was listed as Missing in Action. His name was listed on the Tablets of the Missing at Netherlands American Cemetery at Margraten, Netherlands and he was awarded the Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters and the Purple Heart.

A location was reported near the town of Elsnig, East Germany, by two German nationals whose hobby was to investigate probably World War II crash sites. A team from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) interviewed two additional Germans who said they had witnessed the crash when they were children. A JAPC team investigated the site in 2003. A second JAPC team recovered human remains and a P-38 in 2005. An aircraft data plate recovered from the site was from Estill’s P-38J Lightning fighter. Further DNA testing revealed that the remains were those of 1st Lt. Estill’s.

1st Lt. Estill was interred with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery on October 10, 2006. His daughter, Sharon Taylor who was 3-weeks-old when her father was shot down by anti-aircraft fire, attended the services. She was also present with the second excavation JPAC in 2005. Some of 1st Lt. Estill’s former squadron members and twenty-two family members were present for the internment services. Two fighter planes conducted a fly-over in honor of 1st Lt. Estill.