|Pilot 1st Lt. Edward J. Hedrick, O-736205 (MIA / KIA) CA
MIA October 17, 1943 at 10:30am
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank, California. Constructors Number 1254. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 475th Fighter Group, 431st Fighter Squadron. No known nose art or nickname. When lost, engines V-1710-91 serial number 42-93782 and V-1710-89 serial number 42-29972. Weapon serial numbers 20mm cannon 58249, .50 caliber machine guns 113136, 113286, 113123 and 223028.
On October 17, 1943 took off from North Borio Airfield (Doboudra No. 12) near Dobodura to intercept incoming Japanese A6M Zero fighters. This P-38 was last sighted by 2nd Lt. Robert E. Hunt roughly 10 miles off shore northeast of Oro Bay making a pass on the enemy formation.
When Hedrick failed to return he was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA). Also lost are P-40N 42-104991 (MIA), P-38H 42-66561 (MIA), P-38H 42-66836 (rescued), P-38H "We Dood It" 42-66908 (survived).
Afterwards, a search failed to find any trace of this aircraft or pilot.
Hedrick was officially declared missing the day of the mission. He is memorialized at the Tablets of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery.
Missing Air Crew Report 1419 (MACR 1419)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Edward J. Hedrick
1Lt Edward J Hedrick (Tablets of the Missing)
Thanks to Edward Rogers for additional research and analysis
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January 5, 2018