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  P-38H-5-LO Lightning Serial Number 42-66904  
5th AF
6th PRG
8th PRS

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Ruff c1943
Pilot  1st Lt. Charles E. Bateson, III, O-432230 (MIA / KIA) Rye, NY
MIA  October 8, 1943
MACR  794

Pilot History
Bateson was born at January 14, 1916 in Rye, NY and worked as a salesman textile industry. He enlisted in the U. S. Army on March 30, 1937 to Troop K, 101st Cavalry ( Squadron A) in New York, NY. On April 23, 1941 enlisted as an aviation cadet. Afterwards, assigned to the 5th Air Force, 8th Fighter Group, 80th Fighter Squadron "Headhunters". Next, transferred to the 6th Photographic Reconnaissance Group, 8th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron. He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Aircraft History
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank, California. Constructors Number 1415. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 6th Photographic Reconnaissance Group, 8th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron. No known nose art or nickname. When lost, engines V-1710-89 and V-1710-91 serial numbers 42-94161 and 42-30146.

Wartime History
On October 8, 1943 took off on a mission to escort F-4 Lightning piloted by Holton on a mission over the Madang area. Bateson was last seen over the Madang area and failed to return. Possibly, his last radio message was at 3:20pm when a ground station recorded "Bandits 5. Let's get them." This message was not heard by aircraft in the flight. When this aircraft failed to return, Bateson was declared Missing In Action (MIA).

This aircraft has never been found or identified. The unidentified wreckage of P-38 wreckage on Siar Island or P-38 wreckage at Nobnob could possibly be this aircraft.

Bateson was officially declared dead on December 15, 1945. He is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records Charles E. Bateson Trd

Missing Air Crew Report 794 (MACR 794)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Charles E. Bateson III
FindAGrave - 1Lt Charles Edward Wagstaffe Bateson, III (obituary, tablets of the missing photo)
The Eight Ballers: Eyes of the Fifth Air Force pages 160
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - P-38H Lightning 42-66904

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Last Updated
August 11, 2019


Tech Info

1 Missing
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