|Pilot Captain Lingamfelter (survived)
Crashed January 7, 1943
Built by Martin in Baltimore, Maryland. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-26B Marauder serial number 41-17588. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field then overseas to the South Pacific.
Assigned to the 38th Bombardment Group, 69th Bombardment Squadron. No known nose art or nickname.
On January 7, 1943 took off from Henderson Field on Guadalcanal piloted by Captain Lingamfelter leading a formation of six B-26s on a bombing mission against Munda Airfield on New Georgia. Over the target, a low ceiling obscured the ground. Instead, they proceeded to Rekata Bay on Santa Isabel Island that also had a low ceiling of cloud cover. Over the target at 300', this B-26 was hit by automatic anti-aircraft fire and damaged. Returning to Henderson Filed, the pilot ordered the crew to bail out. All landed without injury and returned to the Squadron. Pilot Lingamfelter was the last to bail out and fell 500' before his parachute finally opened at a height of only 600'.
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-26B Marauder 41-17588
"17588 (38th BG, 69th BS) hit by AAA over Rekata Bay and abandoned at Henderson Field Jan 7, 1943"
69th Bombardment Squadron Diary, January 7, 1943:
"Well diary this day is the saddest day in our history, we lost our best Captain and crew yesterday afternoon in a raid over Rekata Bay, a Jap sea plane base. Captain Behling lead 6 planes in the afternoon to bomb Munda Airdrome but found it impossible as they had a very low ceiling so they went over to Rekada Bay and it too had a low ceiling but on the last raid we encountered no no AA fire so he decided to make a low bombing run at 600 feet. The Japs were laying for them and shot everything at 'em except the kitchen sink and maybe that. Our boys reported it was a solid sheet of flame they flew right through sit spreading their 100 lbs bombs all over the place. Evidently Captain Behling got an explosive shell in the cockpit as over the target his plane shot straight up and fell off on one wing and spun down in flames and exploded when hitting the water. The other ships managed to limp home. Captain Long nursed his aircraft home on one engine with hydraulic, electrical systems out, and bullet holes in his wings, tail and every where else. Lt. Howbert and my class mate Don White received as a present 52 bullet holes in his plane, two of which went between Whites' legs. They put a neat hole through a brace of the landing gear but it stood up for the landing. Lt. Field and co-pilot Shurman, also my classmate, received 37 holes in their plane which got one of their oil tanks but not bad enough to cause engine failure. His tail gunner got a float type zero fighter. Lt Howbert tail gunner was shot in the leg but will be OK in a few weeks. Capt. Lingamfelter, our flight leader, plane was shot up so bad that he dared not land as everything on his ship was shot up. All crew members got out OK near the field and he bailed out last and fell 500 feet before his chute opened as it tangles in his legs and he fought to free it to open at 600 feet. They're OK except a little shaken up but are ready for another crack at the Japs. Out of that raid we lost a crew and one airplane #117550. Lingamfelter in #17588 is gone. Lt. Howbert in #7536 may fly again but it is doubtful. Lt.Fields #115780 may fly again. Capt. Longs #117567 definitely will never fly."
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October 1, 2018