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  P-38G-10-LO Lightning Serial Number 42-13415  
USAAF
14th AF
51st FG
449th FS

Pilot  2nd Lt. Thomas D. Harmon, O-732545 (rescued) Rensselaer, IN
Crashed  October 30, 1943
MACR  1054

Aircraft History
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank, California. Constructors Number 222-7815. Delivered to the U.S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 14th Air Force, 51st Fighter Group, 449th Fighter Squadron. No known nickname or nose art. When lost engine V-1710-55 serial number 42-93299. When lost, weapon serial numbers: 50 caliber machine guns: 373286, 314463, 312949 and 314868 and 20mm cannon 52402.

Mission History
On October 30, 1043 one of nine P-38s that took off from Ling Ling Airfield (Lingling) piloted by 2nd Lt. Thomas D. Harmon on a course of 43° from Hengyang on a mission to dive bomb docks five miles southwest of Kiukiang (Chiuchiang, Jiujiang). Weather was five miles of visibility with haze.

Over the target at 9:30am, the formation dive bombed from 8,000'. The formation was intercepted by enemy aircraft. During the mission, Harmon claimed two enemy fighters shot down. At 11:10am, this Lightning was last seen by P-38 piloted by 1st Lt. Robert B. Schultz. Harmon bailed out over a small lake south of Kiukiang. Schultz observed him alive in his parachute at approximately 1,000', and prevented an enemy aircraft from strafing him as he descended.

Rescue
Harmon landed unhurt. He was aided by Chinese Communist forces, who helped him to reach friendly lines. He returned to duty a month later.

References
Previously, Harmon bailed out of B-25D "Little Butch" 41-29964 on April 9, 1943
USAF Aerial Victory Credits - Thomas D. Harmon
Pilots Also Pray by Thomas D. Harmon

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Last Updated
January 5, 2018

 

Tech Info
P-38
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