|Pilot 2nd Lt. George C. Haniotis, O-746098 (MIA / KIA) Okmulgee, OK
MIA November 5, 1943 at 12:40pm
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank, California. Constructors Number 222-7089. Delivered to the U. S. Army as P-38E-2-LO Lightning serial number 42-12655. On June 17, 1942 redesignated as P-83F-2-LO then on August 12, 1942 as P-38F-5-LO. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 49th Fighter Group, 9th Fighter Squadron. Assigned to pilot Gerald R. "Jerry" Johnson. Nicknamed "Sooner" with squadron number 83. When lost engines V-1710-53-49 serial numbers 42-110550 and 42-110165. Armed with four .50 caliber machine guns serial numbers: 107817, 103527, 103507, 52785 with 20mm cannon serial number 802.
On November 5, 1943 took off from Kiriwinia Airfield piloted by 2nd Lt. George C. Haniotis as part of "Red Flight" flying as wingman for
flight leader Captain Richard I. "Dick" Bong. on an mission to escort B-24 Liberators over Rabaul. Weather was high overcast with scattered cumulus clouds with 2/10th buildup en route.
Over the target, two Zero were spotted and the P-38s dove to attack. Haniotis was lost for a couple minutes then rejoined Bong.
During another engagement at 12:30, Haniotis was back on Bong's wing then was lost again, likely attacking another Zero. Last seen roughly 5 miles northwest of Vunakanau Airfield by pilots 1st Lt. Douglas E. Barrett and 2nd Lt. Stanley W. Johnson.
As Bong was over Tobera Airfield leaving the area, someone called Bong over the radio twice and asked if he had left the area. Bong believed the voice was Haniotis. Both times Bong responded, but there no acknowledgment. The last call was at 12:40pm. When this aircraft failed to return, Haniotis was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA). The reason for his loss was unknown.
Haniotis was officially declared dead on December 15, 1945. He is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.
USAF Serial Number Search Results - P-38F Lightning 42-12655
Missing Air Crew Report 1074 (MACR 1074) created November 7, 1943 lists aircraft as P-38E-2-LO Lightning
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC)
George C. Haniotis
2Lt George C Haniotis (tablets of the missing photo)
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September 26, 2018