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  F-5A-10-LO Lightning Serial Number 42-12967  
USAAF
13th AF
4th PRG
17th PRS

Tech Info
17th PRS April 1943

Pilot  1st Lt. John A. Mancini, O-660652 (MIA / KIA) Ballston, NY
MIA  April 22, 1943
MACR  619

Aircraft History
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank, California. Manufacture Number 222-7401. Converted from a model P-38G-10-LO Lightning into a photographic reconnaissance version. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as F-5A-10-LO Lightning serial number 42-12967. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South Pacific and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 13th Air Force, 4th Photo Reconnaissance Group (4th PRG), 17th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron (17th PRS). No known nickname or nose art. When lost, engines V-1710-55 serial number 42-32222 and V-1710-51 serial number 42-28139.

Mission History
On April 22, 1943 took off from Fighter 2 (Kukum) on Guadalcanal piloted by 1st Lt. John A. Mancini at 8:00am on a photographic and visual search mission over Kahili on southern Bougainville and the Shortlands. The weather was open to Kolombangara Island, northward was heavy clouds with thunderheads, squall lines and ceiling at 700'. Last seen after take off from Fighter 2 (Kukum). When this aircraft failed to return it was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).

Memorials
Mancini was officially declared dead on December 17, 1945. He earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously. Mancini is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

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.

References
World War II Army Enlistment Records - John A. Mancini
USAF Serial Number Search Results - F-5A-10-LO Lightning 42-12967
Missing Air Crew Report 619 (MACR 619) created August 21, 1943
17th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron (17th PRS) Guadalcanal Memorial Service September 7, 1943
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John A. Mancini
FindAGrave - 1Lt John A Mancini (tablets of the missing)
Thanks to Donna Esposito and Edward Rogers for additional research

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Last Updated
January 5, 2018

 

Tech Info
F-5A

MIA
MIA
1 Missing
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