|Pilots 2nd Lt. Norman R. Shea, O-746197 (MIA / KIA) Rochester, NY
MIA November 2, 1943
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank. Delivered to the U. S. Army Army Force (USAAF) P-38H-1-LO Lightning serial number 42-66662. Disassembled and shipped overseas and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 8th Fighter Group, 80th Fighter Squadron "Headhunters". When lost, engine V-1710-89 serial numbers 42-29794 and 42-93709. The .50 caliber machine gun serial numbers are not noted in Missing Air Crew Report 1194.
On November 2, 1943 took off from Kiriwina Airfield piloted by 2nd Lt. Norman R. Shea as part of the second flight on a mission to escort B-25 Mitchells over Rabaul. Shea was the wingman for element leader 1st Lt. Don C. Hanover, Jr. Inbound to the target, the weather was closing in with rain squalls and heavy clouds from Kiriwina to the Rabaul area.
Over the target, fifty to sixty Japanese fighters intercepted. This P-38 was last seen diving into the enemy formation. Later, element leader 1st Lt. Don C. Hanover observed a P-38 in a dive over Rapopo Airfield. When this P-38 failed to return, Shea was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).
Shea was officially declared dead on December 15, 1945. He is memorialized on the tablets of missing at Manila America Cemetery.
Gregory Evershed (nephew)
"I am interested to learn if you might have any information on my uncle listed as MIA in 1943. Here are the facts as I know them. He was a pilot of a P 38 in the 80th Fighter Squadron , 8th Fighter Group, 5th Air Force. He was flying a mission escorting B-25’s to Rabaul on November 2, 1943 one of 57 P 38’s on that mission. Nine P 38’s were lost that day including my uncle, 2nd Lt. Norman Shea. He was last sighted over Rapopo Airdrome about 15 miles southeast of Rabaul. He was flying a P 38 –H-1-LO. Serial # 42-66662. Engines were V-1710-89 491. I believe the mission took off from Kiriwina Island. I would be curious if you have any further information"
Sharon Buongiorne (niece)
"I have a couple photo's of my Uncle, Second Lieutenant Norman R. Shea. . He was the lone occupant of a P-38 Lightning, which participated in a escort mission to Rabaul, New Britain on November 2, 1943. His plane encountered hostile aircraft. He was last seen over the northern part of the island when his plane and others drove into formations of enemy fighter planes. He was declared MIA on November 2,1943.
His fiancé, June Northrup was a woman pilot that had joined WASP. I have all of her letters written to him, sealed with a kiss. (lipstick). My prayer is that every serviceman can be found and given a proper burial so that their families have some kind of closure. I realize that is not a realistic thought, as some will never be found. I wish in some way I could do more! I want to thank you again for being such a caring individual, and for your interest in trying to locate our servicemen."
NAA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Norman R. Shea
USAF Serial Number Search Results - P-38H-1-LO Lightning 42-66662
"66662 (8th FG) shot down by Japanese fighter at Rabaul, New Guinea Nov 2, 1943. MACR 1194"
Missing Air Crew Report 1194 (MACR 1194)
"Soldier Reported Killed, Aviator Missing - Lieutenant Shea Missing in Pacific"
via Sharon Buongiorne
"Lieutenant Shea Missing in Pacific - Second Lieut. Norman R. Shea of 423 Murry St. pilot of a P-38 fighter plane in the U. S. Army Air Corps, is reported missing in action in the Southern Pacific area, his parents Mr. and Mrs. Charles Shea of the Murry Street address, were advised yesterday by telegram from the War Department.. It was said he failed to report back to his base after a mission. Lieutenant Shea was a native Rochesterian and.... Apostles and Jeff... School. Before... year ago last August.... ployed at the De... He received his... Santa Ana, Calif... overseas last August."
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) -
Norman R. Shea
FindAGrave - 2Lt Norman R Shea (tablets of the missing photo)
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August 11, 2019