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  P-38J-5-LO Lightning Serial Number 42-67154  
USAAF
13th AF
18th FG
12th FS


12th FS Feb 17, 1944

Pilot  1st Lt. George I. Gombert, Jr., O-667693 (MIA / KIA) Lehighton, PA
MIA  February 27, 1944 at 1:20pm
MACR  2639

Aircraft History
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank, California. Constructors Number 1665. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South Pacific and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 13th Air Force, 18th Fighter Group, 12th Fighter Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On February 27, 1944 took off from Stirling Airfield piloted by 1st Lt. George I. Gombert, Jr. armed with bombs on a dive bombing and strafing mission over Rabaul. Inbound to the target, this P-38 was last seen at 1:20pm entering a cloud formation roughly 20 miles south of New Ireland. Went this aircraft failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

Memorials
Gombert was officially declared dead January 19, 1946. He earned the Air Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) on February 17, 1944. Posthumously, he earned the Purple Heart and was promoted to Captain. Gombert is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

Gombert also has a memorial marker at Lehighton Cemetery in Lehighton, PA. Gombert also has another memorial marker at Gnaden Huetten Cemetery in Lehighton PA.

References
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - George I. Gombert, Jr.

USAF Serial Number Search Results - P-38J-5-LO Lightning 42-67154 (18th FG) lost Feb 27, 1944
Missing Air Crew Report 2639 (MACR 2639)
12th Fighter Squadron - January-March 1944 (USAF Historical Research Agency IRSUM: 55724) page 3, 6
(Page 3) "(39) March 21, 1944: 1 pilot [Gombert] from duty to missing in action.
(Page 6) "i. Losses in Action; Officers: On February 27, 1944, 1st Lt. George I. Gombert, Jr. O-667693, was lost while enroute to the Rabaul area on a dive-bombing mission. His plane was last seen going into a could formation about twenty miles southwest of the New Ireland coast."
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - George I. Gombert Jr.
FindAGrave - George I Gombert (Lehighton Cemetery grave)
FindAGrave - George I. Gombert, Jr (Gnaden Huetten Cemetery)

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Last Updated
September 25, 2018

 

Tech Info
P-38

Tech Info
Map
Feb 27, 1944

MIA
MIA
1 Missing

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