|Pilot 2nd Lt. Owen R. Fish, O-429389 (MIA / KIA) CT
Crashed April 27, 1942
Built by Curtiss in Buffalo, New York. Delivered to the U. S. Army, serial number unknown. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 49th Fighter Group, 8th Fighter Squadron "The Blacksheep". No known nickname or nose art.
On April 27, 1942 took off from Adelaide River Airfield at noon piloted by Strauss on a scramble mission to intercept incoming Japanese aircraft. Owen part of "White Flight", wingman to 2nd Lt. C. C. Johnson.
The P-40s attacked a formation of Japanese bombers escorted by fighters beyond Middle Point, outnumbered seven to one. Intercepted by escorting A6M2 Zeros, Owen's P-40 was shot down during the first pass and was seen on fire and crashing into Darwin Harbor. Also lost was P-40E Warhawk piloted by Strauss.
After the crash, a floating oxygen bottle was found by an Australian Army anti-aircraft battery at Fanny Bay in Darwin Harbor that was deemed to be from this aircraft based on a serial number found. Reportedly, Strauss' body was found across Darwin Harbor in the Swires Bluff and buried at Strauss.
Recovery of Remains
After the crash, Strauss' remains were reportedly recovered and buried in Australia. Postwar, his remains were exhumed and transported to the United States for permanent burial.
Fish was officially delcared dead on April 27, 1942. He is memorialized at the tablets of the missing at MAC.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Owen R. Fish
2LT Owen R Fish (tablets of the missing photo)
Protect & Avenge pages 13, 16 (photo), 47-49, 50 (map), 355 (index)
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May 3, 2016