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|Pilot Lt. George E. Morgan (survived)
Force Landed July 16, 1943
Arriving over the target, Morgan aborted the mission due to engine trouble. When he failed to return, he was initially believed to be Missing In Action (MIA). In fact, he force landed near Akoma village at the mouth of the Purari River near the southern coast roughly 40 miles from Kerema. Other sources state Morgan force landed at Urika Island off the southern coast of New Guinea.
On the return flight, the formation encountered bad weather with extremely low visibility. Lost was P-38 piloted Steele (MIA).
Fate of the Pilot
In fact, he landed unhurt and Morgan was found by local people and brought to missionaries from Samoa and stayed with them for several days, including attending their church on Sunday July 18, 1943. He was transported to to Terapo Airfield to await rescue.
Afterwards, Morgan wrote his mother and Mary about his experiences on this mission both letters are published in Relentless Pursuit pages 160-162.
"July 21, 1943 - Dear Mom, Had an interesting day at work today [July 21, 1943]. I took part in a darn good fight. Although I shot at plenty of them, I didn't shoot any down myself, but I saw others that did. Went to church last Sunday [July 18, 1943] under very unusual circumstances. I was staying with some missionaries. A middle-aged couple from Samoa had charge of the place. At church, I was the only white person. There were about a hundred natives. The woman had only grass skirts on, and the men had cloth skirts. The missionary couple from Samoa wore regular clothes. I was their 'guest'. for about 3 days, and they really treated me wonderfully. Love, George"
"July 22, 1943 - Dear Mary, Those 3 days I was a 'guest' of a couple of missionaries weren't bad at all, but I don't want to go through it again. Yesterday [July 22, 1943], I was in a nice fight, but I wasn't lucky enough to get one. Although we got off to a bad start, we did OK before it was over. Tell Perry he should have been here, I know he would have enjoyed it.
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