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  P-38J-10-LO Lightning Serial Number 42-67788  
USAAF
13th AF
18th FG
419th NFS
Detachment "A"

Pilot  2nd Lt. Robert J. McDonald, O-746138 419th NFS (MIA / KIA) MI
MIA  April 18, 1944 at 10:15am
MACR  3739

Aircraft History
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank, California. 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, 419th Fighter Squadron. This aircraft was attached to the 419th Night Fighter Squadron, Detachment "A". When lost, engines: V-1710-89 and V-1710-91 serial numbers A-035710 and A-035710.

Mission History
On April 18, 1944 one of three P-38s that took off from Piva Airfield piloted by McDonald armed with a single 500 pound bomb on a strafing mission against anti-aircraft guns and coastal guns in the Buka-Bonis area. The flight was led by Lt Donald Dessert with Lt. Robert LaCroix and this aircraft.

Over the target, this P-38 was hit in the right engine and set on fire near Sorum Point on Bougainville. McDonald successfully parachuted from the burning airplane at approximately 10:15am.

Search
Ten minutes later, a PBY Catalina arrived to attempt a rescue, without success. P-38s and P-40s covered the area but did not spot him.

Memorials
McDonald was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

References
Missing Air Crew Report 3739 (MACR 3739)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert J. McDonald
FindAGrave - 2Lt Robert J McDonald (tablets of the missing photo)

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Last Updated
January 5, 2018

 

Tech Info
P-38

MIA
MIA
1 Missing

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