|Pilot 2nd Lt. Ardell A. Nord, O-660672 (MIA / KIA) Wilkin County, MN
MIA February 14, 1943
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank, California. Constructor Number 222-7120. Converted
from a P-38G model into a F-5A
photographic reconnaissance version. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as F-5A-1-LO Lightning Serial Number 42-12678. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South Pacific and reassembled.
Assigned to the 13th Air Force, 4th Photographic Reconnaissance Group (4th PRG), 17th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron (17th PRS). No known nose art or nickname. When lost, engines V-1710-55, serial number 42-32330 and 42-28536. Camera serial numbers unknown.
On February 14, 1943 took off from Fighter 2 (Kukum) on Guadalcanal at 7:47am on a visual and photographic reconnaissance over Kahili Airfield (Buin Airfield) on southern Bougainville. After take off, this aircraft was never heard from again or seen again.
Justin Taylan adds:
"I researched this mission at the Tokyo Defense archives. Four A6M Zeros from the 252 Kōkūtai took off on a combat air patrol claimed a single 'P-38' as shot down at 9:31am local time. This claim was undoubtedly for this F-5A Lightning."
Nord was officially declared dead on December 15, 1945. He is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery. He also has a memorial marker at Wolverton Norwegian Lutheran Cemetery in the cenotaph at Wolverton, MN.
On September 7, 1943 the 17th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron (17th PRS) held a memorial service on Guadalcanal to honor the members of the squadron MIA/KIA to that date including 1st Lt. Harold W. Erwin, 1st Lt. John A. Mancini (MIA F-5A 42-12967), 2nd Lt. Ardell A. Nord (MIA F-5A 42-12678), 2nd Lt. Charles Roberts, Jr. (MIA pilot F-5A 42-12680) 2nd Lt. Fred H. Baird (MIA F-5A 42-12983), 2nd Lt. Roy L. Peterson (MIA F-5A 42-12977) and Pvt Edward P. Gray.
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records Ardell A. Nord
USAF Serial Number Search Results - F-5A Lightning 42-12678
"12678 (17th PRS, 4th PRG) lost Feb 14, 1943, Solomon Islands. MACR 621"
Missing Air Crew Report 621 (MACR 621)
Kodochosho, 252 Kōkūtai, February 14, 1943
17th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron (17th PRS) Guadalcanal Memorial Service September 7, 1943
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Ardell A. Nord
FindAGrave - Lieut Ardell Axel Nord (photo, memorial marker photo)
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February 4, 2018