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  P-38H-1-LO Lightning Serial Number 42-66665  
USAAF
5th AF
475th FG
431st FS

Pilots  2nd Lt. Kenneth M. Richardson, O-743505 (MIA / KIA) DC
MIA  November 2, 1943 at 1:50pm
MACR  1951

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 5th Air Force, 475th Fighter Group, 431st Fighter Squadron. No known nickname or nose art. When lost, engine V-1710-89 serial numbers 42-29725 and V-1710-91 serial number 42-93803. The 20mm cannon was manufactured by Hispano serial number 58280. The .50 caliber machine gun serial numbers 113249, 397617, 397666, 113511.

Wartime History
On November 2, 1943 took off from North Embi Airfield (Dobodura No. 12) piloted by 2nd Lt. Kenneth M. Richardson on a mission to escort B-25 Mitchells over Rabaul. Weather was described as very unfavorable for flying.

Over the target, fifty to sixty Japanese fighters intercepted. Last seen being attacked by enemy fighters over Simpson Harbor. When Richardson failed to return, he was officially listed as Missing in Action (MIA).

This P-38 was last seen by 1st Lt. Francis J. Lent, MACR 1951, page 8:
"I looked around and saw four Zekes chasing Lt. Richardson over Rabaul Harbor. This was the last I saw of Lt. Richardson."

Wreckage
This P-38 was reported by CILHI as crashed at roughly Lat 4.12 Long 152.11 (another cordinate is Lat 4.29 Long 152.20) at Watwat (Wat Wat) south of Rabaul.

Memorials
Richardson was officially declared dead on November 2, 1943. He is memorialized on the tablets of missing at Manila America Cemetery.

References
Missing Air Crew Report 1951 (MACR 1951)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Kenneth M. Richardson
FindAGrave - 2Lt Kenneth M Richardson (tablets of the missing photo)

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Last Updated
January 5, 2018

 

Tech Info
P-38

Photos
MIA
1 Missing

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