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|Pilot 1st Lt. William L. Hasty, O-752119 (POW, survived) SC
Crashed June 5, 1944 at 10:10am
Apparently, this aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire in the port engine causing a fire. Hasty made a radio call to the rest of the squadron, but the message was illegible, only "Possum Red Leader..." could be understood. While attempting to bail out, Hasty became stuck half in and half out of the cockpit before managing to free himself from the burning cockpit and successfully bailed out, reaching the ground around 10:30am.
According to other P-38 pilots, anti-aircraft fire was directed at Hasty's parachute but fell short at least 300 yards. As it descended at a 45° angle rolling and spinning, the empty P-38 had the left engine smoking and streaming flames and the right engine also began burning.
Hasty was spotted by his squadron mates flying above, his position reported as 6 miles south-southwest of Babo Airfield and 2 1/2 miles east of the Xasoeri River and 2 1/8 miles west of the Kasira River.
On June 7, 1944 another search mission was scheduled by eight P-38s but did not take off due to bad weather.
Fate of the Pilot
While interned at Babo, Hasty witnessed several American bombing missions against Babo from the ground and narrowly avoided being killed during several attacks.
On June 11, 1944 he was loaded onto a twin engine transport plane and flown to Borneo. There, he was placed in a stockade with starving Australian Prisoners Of War (POW) who generously poured their only bottle of iodine on his wounded leg which had been untreated by the Japanese, saving his life and leg.
Next he was flown to the Philippines and onward to Formosa before arriving at Yokohama Naval Base, where he endured 90 days of solitary confinement and three beatings a day. Next, he was interred at Ofuna Camp near Yokohama. Hasty survived the war. He was liberated at the end of the war from Tokyo POW Camp (Shinjuku) on October 24, 1945.
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