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  P-38H-5-LO Lightning Serial Number 42-66837  
USAAF
5th AF
475th FG
431st FS

Click For Enlargement
D. Pennefather 1973

Pilot  1st Lt. Donno C. Bellows, O-726736 (rescued) Cerro Gordo, IA
Crashed  September 13, 1943
Crashed  none

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.

Mission History
On September 13, 1943 took off from Port Moresby on a mission against Wewak. Returning, this aircraft crash landed near Dumpu (prior to Dumpu Airfield being constructed) and the Ramu River. Pilot Bellows was unhurt in the crash. Also lost was P-38H Lightning 42-66749 piloted Lt Knox (MIA).

Fate of the Pilot
The following day, Bellows was rescued by Allied ground forces and returned to duty.

Wreckage
The nose section abandoned near Dumpu, in the early 1970s. The rest of the aircraft appears to have been removed during the war, or otherwise scrapped more recently.

References
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Donno C. Bellows
Microfilm 1065 13 frame 757 mentions one mile east of the Ramu River near the headwaters of the Puri Creek at Lat 6.13 Long 146.00, but does not specify if this is where the pilot landed, or the location of the wreckage of the aircraft.
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - P-38H Lightning 42-66837
American Fighter Aces - Lawrence F. O’Neill an Ace with Kearby's Thunderbolts by John Guttman mentions September 13, 1943 mission

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

Tech Info
P-38
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