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David Loyd Mandt
U. S. Navy (USN) Fighter Pilot

Background
David Loyd Mandt was born in May 29, 1921 in Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan. He attended Lawrence Institute of Technology and was a member of C. A. A. Flight Class also was a member of the soaring society. As part of the third class he commenced training on October 11, 1940 for civilian pilot training and successfully completed ground school and flight school and earned his private pilot's license.

Wartime History
Click For EnlargementEnlisted in the U. S. Navy Reserve (USNR) as a F6F Hellcat pilot assigned to USS Bunker Hill (CV-17) to Air Group 17 (AG-17) to Fighting Squadron 18 (VF-18) as a F6F Hellcat pilot. On November 10, 1943 took off piloting an F6F Hellcat on a mission to escort TBF Avengers from VT-17 over Rabaul. Over the target, the formation was engaged by A6M Zeros and anti-aircraft fire. When Mandt intercept was unable to release his drop tank and was fired on by a Zero from the rear and sustained some bullet holes but the damage was not serious. Afterwards, escorted the Avengers attacking a cruiser and experienced intense anti-aircraft fire. For his Pacific service, he earned the Air Medal and was promoted to Lieutenant (junior grade).

Mission History
On March 18, 1945 took off piloting XF8F-1 Bearcat 90460 on a gunnery test mission and crashed for unknown reasons and was killed in the crash. When lost, Mandt had a total of 935.6 hours.

References
Lawrence Institute of Technology 1941 page 84 (photo), 90 (C.A.A Flight Class),
Lawrence Institute of Technology 1948 pages 12-13
U. S. Draft Registration Card - David L. Mandt
NARA "Aircraft Action Report (AAR) VF-18 10 November 1943" pages 8, 12-13

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