|Pilot 1st Lt. Paul O. Staller, O-427023 (WIA / KIA) PA
Crashed August 13, 1942
Built by Lockheed. Assigned to the 6th Photographic Reconnaissance Group, 8th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron.
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.
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)."
Staller is buried at Manila American Cemetery at Plot A Row 16 Grave 155.
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]
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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March 5, 2013