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  P-38J-15-LO Lightning Serial Number 42-104015 Nose Number ???
USAAF
5th AF
475th FG
433rd FS

Pilot  1st Lt Robert M. Tomberg, O-737297 (survived)
Crashed  April 16, 1944 "Black Sunday"
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank, California. Constructors Number 2849. Delivered to the U.S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 475th Fighter Group, 433rd Fighter Squadron. Nose Number ???. No known nickname or nose art. When lost, engines and weapon serial numbers listed in Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) 4500.

Mission History
On April 16, 1944 took off from Nadzab No. 3 Airfield a mission to escort A-20 Havocs over Hollandia. Returning the formation encountered a severe weather front. Tomberg successfully bailed out before the crash.

Search
The next day, aircraft from the 5th Air Force searched for this aircraft without success.

Fate of the Pilot
Tomberg returned to duty on April 22, 1944.

Wreckage
This P-38 crashed and burned near Meibu village. In 2009-2010, a team from JPAC visited the crash site.

Memorials
Tomberg joined the U. S. Air Force (USAF) and served in the Korean War. He retired as a Lt. Colonel and passed away on August 8, 1994. He has a memorial marker at Arlington National Cemetery, memorial section H.

References
Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) 4503 page 2 mentions Robert M. Tomberg return to duty on April 22, 1944
FindAGrave - LTC Robert Miles Tomberg (grave photo)
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - P-38J Lightning 42-104015
Black Sunday mentions this loss

Contribute Information
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?

Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

Tech Info
P-38

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