|Pilot 2nd Lt. Richard T. Cella (survived)
Ditched November 4, 1942
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank, California. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas and reassembled.
Assigned to the 35th Fighter Group, 39th Fighter Squadron on September 17, 1942. No known nickname or nose art.
On November 4, 1942 took off from Milne Bay piloted by 2nd Lt. Richard T. Cella as one of eleven P-38 Lightnings on a ferry flight bound for Guadalcanal. After take off, this aircraft suffered an engine failure and ditched off Milne Bay. Pilot Chello was unhurt in the landing.
Afterwards, Chello was rescued and returned to duty.
During 2004, discovered by Bob Halstead off Milne
Bob Halstead adds:
"Located on a reef slope between 12 and
17 meters deep. The propellers are feathered and pilot made perfect water
landing. No damage to aircraft. Beautiful site as wreck has heavy coral
and colourful sponge growth. I have brass radio call tag and it reads
2-12649 very clear."
NARA Death Files, 1936 - 2007 - Richard T.
Cella born September 16, 1916 died April 16, 1998
Thanks to Bob Halstead for discovery notes
and Keith Hopper for additional historical information.
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February 8, 2018