|Pilot 2nd Lt. Ronald E. Dunlop, O-743429 (survived)
Force Landed August 30, 1943
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank, California. Constructors Number 1013.
This aircraft was the second H model built. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-38H-1-LO Lightning serial number 42-66502. Disassembled and shipped overseas and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 475th Fighter Group, 431st Fighter Squadron. Assigned to pilot Dean. No known nickname or nose art. Officially, written off on September 4, 1943.
On August 30, 1943 took off from Port Moresby piloted by 2nd Lt. Ronald E. Dunlop on a mission. Returning, this aircraft ran low on fuel and made an emergency landing on the beach at Kukipi, landing on flat sandy ground with scattered low bushes and trees. The aircraft was demolished but the cockpit section remained intact.
Fate of the Pilot
Pilot Dunlop survived unhurt and walked to a nearby landing strip (likely Terapo Airfield)
and was flown aboard a Fox Moth to Port Moresby and returned to his unit.
Until 1980, this aircraft remained in situ where it force landed but became badly corroded. During 1980, PNG Museum modern history curator Bruce Hoy removed portions of the wreckage for the museum's collection.
USAF Serial Number Search Results - P-38H-1-LO Lightning 42-66502
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - P-38H Lightning 42-66502
Thanks to Bruce Hoy and Keith Hopper for pilot information and written off date.
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September 26, 2018