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  P-38H-5-LO Lightning Serial Number 42-66738  
USAAF
5th AF
8th FG

Click For Enlargement
July 13, 1944 Sgt Uling
Pilot  Lt. McWhorter (rescued)
Force Landed  July 13, 1944
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank. Constructors Number 1249. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-38H-5-LO Lightning serial number 42-66738. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) and reassembled.


Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 8th Fighter Group. No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On July 13, 1944 took off piloted by Lt. McWhorter on a mission and force landed in kunai grass the southwest of Kupiano at roughly Lat 10.07 Long 148.07.

Fate of the Pilot
McWhorter was unhurt in the landing and afterwards was aided by villagers in the area who took him to missionaries that helped him to reach Hood Point.

Rescue
On July 20, 1944 a Stinson L-5 from the 25th Liaison Squadron piloted by T/Sgt Walter G. Conrad landed at Hula Airfield (Hood Point Airfield) and flew him to Port Moresby and he later returned to duty.

Wreckage
After the force landing a Stinson L-5 from the 25th Liaison Squadron with passenger Sgt Henry Uling spotted and photographed his P-38 Lightning in kunai grass.

Until the early 1980s, this P-38 remained in situ where it force landed. On May 3, 1981, Bruce Hoy curator of the modern history department of the PNG Museum visited the wreckage and salvaged a portion of the nose of this aircraft and a dataplate.

Bruce Hoy recalls:
"We drove down to [42-66738] and removed one section of skin on the left side of that aircraft (and at the same time I removed the aircraft's serial plate, still attached inside the cockpit), as [P-38G "Dumbo!" 42-12847 had a damaged nose section] was damaged in that area."

In the middle 1990s, the tail booms and tail section were made into a fence. As of May 26, 2015, there were only small pieces at the crash site.

Restoration
Afterwards, the section of skin on the left side recovered by Bruce Hoy was used to repair the nose section of P-38G "Dumbo!" 42-12847. Afterwards, this repaired nose was installed onto P-38F Lightning 42-12647 displayed at the PNG Museum.

References
USAF Serial Number Search Results - P-38H-5-LO Lightning 42-66738
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - P-38H Lightning 42-66738
Thanks to Bruce Hoy and Keith Hopper for additional information

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Last Updated
July 12, 2019

 

Tech Info
P-38
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