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  F4-1-LO Lightning Serial Number 41-2125 Tail 25
USAAF
5th AF
6th PRG
8th PRS

Pilot  1st Lt. Paul O. Staller, O-427023 (WIA / KIA) PA
Crashed  August 13, 1942
MACR  none
Aircraft History
Built by Lockheed. Assigned to the 6th Photographic Reconnaissance Group, 8th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron.

Mission History
Took off from Horn Island in mid/late afternoon bound for Port Moresby. Lost, Staller found himself over Misima Island and circled the island in the dark. He crashed into a mountain. He survived the crash, but was wounded and later died of the injuries suffered.

Wreckage
Crashed on Misima. The crash site was found during middle September 1942 and his body and papers were recovered by Australians.

William Bartsch visited this crash site in 1979:
"August 17 - Misima - Found, after 35 minute hike wreckage in a deep gully, two V-12 engines and a piece of the plane, but not identifiable. We think its a P-38 probably as they had two V-12 liquid cooled engines. (No photos taken - not remarkable)."

Memorial
Staller is buried at Manila American Cemetery at Plot A Row 16 Grave 155.

References
Thanks to Edward Rogers, Robert Rocker and William Bartsch for additional information.
The Eight Ballers: Eyes of the Fifth Air Force pages 160
New Guinea Force Diary "In Messages" for September 1942 [Australian War Memorial]
Serial: 1087
Date: 19 [September 1942]
T.O.O. : 1300
From: TORLESSE IS
Message: "American plane crashed 13 Aug pilot lost all crew found dead no other bodies found. Pilots papers held at MISIMA."

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Last Updated
January 1, 2014

 

Tech Info
F-4
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