|Pilot 2nd Lt. Dale O. Meyer, O-743742 (MIA / KIA) IL
Crashed November 9, 1943
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank, California. Constructors Number 1027. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 49th Fighter Group,
9th Fighter Squadron. Assigned to pilot Lt. James "Duckbutt" Watkins. Nicknamed "Charlcie Jeann II" in an old English style font. Nose number 84. This plane replaced his prior aircraft P-38H "Charlcie Jeann" 42-66516 that was lost piloted by Price on October 13, 1943.
Afterwards, assigned to the 475th Fighter Group, 433rd Fighter Squadron. When lost, engines serial number V-1710-91 serial number 42-93721 and V-1710-89 serial number 42-29610. Weapon serial numbers noted in MACR.
On November 9, 1943 took off from North Borio Airstrip (Dobodura No. 15) near Dobodura on a mission to escort B-25 Mitchells and A-20 Havocs over Alexishafen. Leading the flight of four was P-38H 42-66834 piloted by Captain Roberts with Meyer flying as his wing man and element leader Lt. Jeakle and wingman Lt. Grady.
Over the target at 10:20am, they engaged 25 enemy fighters near Alexishafen over Sek Harbor. At roughly 200', both Roberts and Meyer were pursuing a Ki-43 Oscar that turned suddenly. Roberts turned to follow and collided with Meyer who failed to turn fast enough and collided.
P-38H 42-66834 caught fire, exploded and crash. Meyer's P-38 crashed about 600 yards to the left of Roberts on land east of Alexishafen Airfield, it did not explode but impacted directly into the ground and afterwards burned severely.
Meyer was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.
Missing Air Crew Report 1260 (MACR 1260)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Dale O. Meyer
FindAGrave - 2Lt Dale O Meyer (tablets of the missing)
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - P-38H Lightning 42-66546
Letter to Mrs. H. W. Cochran from H. W. Cochran dated November 10, 1944:
“A little bad news now. Yesterday [November 9, 1943] we lost Meyer a swell fellow and a mighty good friend. Sure wish the films you are sending arrived as I wanted a picture of Meyer, Fisk and I. I have a cadet picture of him I’ll send you as soon as I get a censor stamp on it. God permitting I’ll get a picture of Fisk and I together and you can keep them together. Also lost two more were killed whom you wouldn’t know [Captain Daniel "Danny" T. Roberts and 2nd Lt. John Clay Smith]"
Letter to Mrs. H. W. Cochran from H. W. Cochran dated November 11, 1944:
"This tent sure seems bare with [Dale] Meyers stuff moved out and without him here. He was always so cheerful and eager."
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September 26, 2018