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  P-38H-5-LO Lightning Serial Number 42-66836 Squadron Number 131
USAAF
5th AF
475th FG
431st FS

Pilot  1st Lt Thomas B. McGuire, Jr., O-437031 (survived)
Crashed  October 17, 1943


Aircraft History
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank, California. Constructors Number 1254. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 475th Fighter Group, 431st Fighter Squadron. Assigned to 1st Lt Thomas B. McGuire, Jr. Squadron number 131 painted on the nose and tail. Likely, this P-38 was nicknamed "Pudgy" after his wife. This was the first aircraft to bear this nickname.

Mission History
On October 17, 1943 took off from North Borio Airfield (Doboudra No. 12) near Dobodura piloted by 1st Lt. McGuire on a mission to intercept incoming Japanese A6M Zero fighters off Oro Bay at 10:30am. During the air combat, McGuire claimed three Zeros shot down before he was shot down. He bailed out or ditched into the sea.

Also lost are P-40N 42-104991 (MIA), P-38H 42-66561 (MIA), P-38H 42-66743 (MIA), P-38H "We Dood It" 42-66908 (survived).

Rescue
McGuire was rescued by a USS Hilo AGP-2 and returned to duty. Afterwards, he was assigned P-38H "Pudgy II" 42-66817, the second aircraft to bear this nickname.

References
Thanks to Edward Rogers for additional research and analysis

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Last Updated
May 3, 2016

 

Tech Info
P-38

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  Pacific Wrecks Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to bringing home those Missing In Action (MIA) and leveraging new technologies in the study of World War II Pacific and the Korean War.  
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