09 May 1919
Pleasant Dale, Seward County, Nebraska,
United States of America
20 February 1943|
Kasserine Pass, Tunisia,
(killed during WWII, age 23)
American child actor who starred in the Our Gang comedies. He enlisted as an aviation cadet in the U.S. Army Air Corps on 10 December 1941, two days after the U.S. entered World War 2, and was later killed in action as a First Lieutenant.
He enlisted in the Army Air Corps on 10 Dec.1941, just 3 days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. He went through pilot and combat training in California and Florida an made the rank of 1st Lieutenant. He sailed to England on the Queen Mary in Oct 1942 for more training and (unknown to him) preparation for the invasion of North Africa. On 3 Jan 1943, his squadron flew their P-39 Fighter planes to Morocco. The weather there was atrocious; cold, rainy and muddy which severely hampered the inexperienced American ground and air troops. Other allies and the enemy had more battle-seasoned troops. In early February, Field Marshall Rommel had the poorly led American ground troops "on-the-run" with his drive through Kasserine Pass. On 20 Feb, Donald and three other P-39 pilots were sent out on a mission to strafe Rommel's ground forces at Kasserine Pass to aid the beleaguered Americans. They took out one locomotive and 3 RR cars; 34 trucks; 1 automobile and 6 enemy soldiers. Donald and one other pilot "failed to return". By early March, Rommel was "on-the-run" and by April the Allies were invading Italy from North Africa.
His headstone (posted at findagrave.com) says he belonged to the 93rd FS (Fighter Squadron) which was true, but exactly one month before he disappeared, he was transferred to the 91st FS! He is buried in Inglewood Park Cemetery, Los Angeles, California.
Real name: Donald F. Haines
|Films listed on this page: complete Hal Roach filmography.|
Jim Jarvis (research, help and information)
"Seward (NE) Independent" 24 Nov. 1943 p.3.
Declassified History of 81st Air Group of US Army Air Corps WWII.
https://findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=14796710 (Find A Grave)
This page was last updated on: 02 January 2019