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  P-38H-1-LO Lightning Serial Number 42-66626  
USAAF
13th AF
347th FG
339th FS

Pilot  1st Lt. James L. Eubanks, O-434753 (MIA / KIA) CA
MIA  October 19, 1943 at 11:25am
MACR  810

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

Wartime History
Assigned to the 13th Air Force, 347th Fighter Group, 339th Fighter Squadron stationed at Fighter 2 (Kukum) on Guadalcanal begining February 7, 1943. No known nose art or nickname. When lost, engines V-1710-91-89 serial numbers (left) 42-93708 and (right) 42-29794. Weapon serial numbers noted in MACR.

Mission History
On October 19, 1943 took off fromFighter 2 (Kukum) on Guadalcanal on a mission to escort B-24 over Kara Airfield on southern Bougainville. Part of a flight of four flying low cover for the bombers, led by 1st Lt. Bill Harris with wing man 2nd Lt Richards. Leading the second element was Lt. Eubanks with wing man 2nd Lt Jarrold D. Lilliedoll. Weather was reported as good.

Returning, the formation was scissoring in elements of two over the lead bomber formation. Attacked by 10-12 Zeros. An enemy Zero was observed peeling off to try to make an overhead attack on Eubanks.

Flight leader Harris responded by pulling over to assist Eubanks, causing the enemy to pull back. While scissoring in formation, this P-38 was clipped by P-38H 42-66888 piloted by Richards causing the right wing of this aircraft to break off and the right engine explode.

Last seen by 2nd Lt. Jarrold D. Lilliedoll., the crash was observed by fellow pilots 1st Lt. John R Mulvey, 1st Lt. Bill Harris. Eubanks P-38 was observed with a small amount of white smoke coming from the right side before going into a flat spin, steepened out and crashed. Both aircraft crashed into the sea roughly three miles northeast of the East Cape of Fauro Island. No parachute was observed.

Memorials
Eubanks was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

Relatives
L. Wells (great-nephew of Eubanks)

References
Missing Air Crew Report 810 (MACR 810)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - James L. Eubanks
FindAGrave - 1LT James L Eubanks (tablets of the missing)

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Last Updated
September 26, 2018

 

Tech Info
P-38

MIA
MIA
1 Missing
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