|Pilot 1st Lt. Harry E. Lidstrom, O-425569 (rescued) Chicago, IL
Force Landed February 20, 1943
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-38G-5-LO Lightning serial number 42-12863. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 49th Fighter Group, 9th Fighter Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.
On February 20, 1943 took off from Port Moresby on an escort mission over Gasmata. Returning, this P-38 and two others became lost and force landed on the beach at Huiva Plantation, roughly 200 miles to the northwest of Port Moresby. Also force landed were P-38G 43-2215 piloted by Douglas and P-38G Lightning 42-12866 piloted by Bauhof.
Afterwards, the U. S. Army salvaged two of the three P-38 Lightnings and transported them back to Port Moresby aboard a barge.
Fate of the Pilot
Afterwards, all three pilots were rescued and returned to duty. On March 28, 1943 Lidstrom was credited with s single aerial victory over Oro Bay. Later, on October 16, 1943 Lidstrom went Missing In Action (MIA) piloting P-38 Lightning over New Guinea between Lae and Dobodura.
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records -
Harry E. Lidstrom
USAF Historical Study No. 85 USAF Credits For The Destruction of Enemy Aircraft, World War II Alphabetical: Lidstrom Harry E. page 115 (PDF page 122), Alphabetical, by theater of operation (SWP) Lidstrom Harry E 03/28/43 page 340 (PDF page 346)
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - P-38 Lightning piloted by Lidstrom 20 February 1943
Aviation Archeology - P-38G 42-12863
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Harry E. Lidstrom
FindAGrave - Capt Harry E Lidstrom
Thanks to Keith Hopper for additional information
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August 6, 2019