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  P-38J-15-LO "Jandina III" Serial Number 42-103988  
USAAF
5th AF
8th FG
80th FS

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80th FS c1944

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80th FS May 7, 1944

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Richard Leahy 1999

Pilot  Captain Jay T. Robbins (survived) Coolidge, TX
Force Landed  May 7, 1944
MACR  none

Pilot History
Jay T. Robbins of Coolidge TX was credited with a total of 22 victories. Postwar, he served as a Lt. General in USAF Strategic Air Command.

Aircraft History
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank, California. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas and reassembled. This aircraft had a natural aluminum finish.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 8th Fighter Group, 80th Fighter Squadron "Headhunters". Assigned to pilot Jay T. Robbins and crew chief S/Sgt H.P. Mosback. Nicknamed "Jandina III" with the nose art of a Buddha with its hands above its head. Captain Jay T. Robbins name was painted in red, with victory markings (imperial rising sun flags). Below was the name of the crew chief S/Sgt H.P. Mosback. "Jandina" (I, II, III, IV, V) was the name of all five of the P-38's Jay T. Robbins flew during WWII. The nickname stood for his nickname "Jay" and his wife's "Ina", joined to "Jandina".

On April 12, 1944 this P-38 was piloted by Robbins when he claimed his 18th kill and 19th kill (date unknown, not officially credited by U. S. Army Air Force).

Mission History
On May 7, 1944 took off on a mission. Returning, the aircraft suffered a loss of the nose wheel hydraulic pressure and was unable to lower the nose gear. Robbins was instructed to force land at Yamai Airfield, an emergency runway near Saidor. Afterwards, the P-38 was abandoned. Afterwards, he was assigned a new aircraft, P-38J "Jandina IV" 43-28832.

Wreckage
Abandoned on fuel drums at Bilau and remained 'in situ' until 1999, missing the tail booms and outer wing panels or engines. Previously, the nose art and 19 kill markings were cut off the nose and were missing as of 1999. All that was visible was the name of the crew chief. Identified as "Jandina III" from traces of "J. T. Robbins" and the crew chief's names on the nose. The nose art and kills were cut off the wreck previously.

Recovery
Recovered in late 1999 by '75 Squadron' (no association with the RAAF unit). The group claimed wreck was reportedly dug up while the group was recovering aircraft from Finschafen, where they had a salvage permit. In fact, this wreckage was actually recovered from Biliau.

Export
On November 28, 1999 this aircraft was placed into a container at Lae and shipped to Australia. After arriving in Melbourne, the aircraft was transported to Bruno Carnovale's property.

Later, during 2002, this and other wreckage was transported by road on city streets during Melbourne morning rush hour traffic and identified as P-38s and P-47s by many drivers. Containered along with other aircraft salvaged, including (possibly) P-38F 42-12652 and three Thunderbolts: P-47D 42-75284, P-47D 42-22521, P-47D 42-8074.

Shipped by boat to Westpac Restorations at Rialto Airport in California. During 2003-2004, this wreckage was stored at their facility during 2003-2004. At the time, details on this aircraft were unknown due to non-disclosure agreement with the owner/client Paul Allen / Flying Heritage Collection.

This recovery has come under question as it was outside of their area covered by their export permit, and was cited as an illegal recovery in the PNG Government Public Accounts Committee Report in 2006.

Today, reportedly part of the Paul Allen / Flying Heritage Collection in Arlington, WA, but is not confirmed by the museum.

References
P-38 Aces of the Pacific and CBI
Attack & Conquer page 189 (photo) 190, 192, 291 (photos)

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Last Updated
January 5, 2018

 

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