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|Pilot Lt. Col. Robert B. Westbrook, O-424187 (MIA / KIA) Hollywood, CA
MIA November 22, 1944
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank. Constructors Number 422-4398. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-38J-20-LO Lightning serial number 44-23394. Disassembled and shipped overseas and reassembled.
Assigned to the 13th Air Force (13th AF), 347th Fighter Group (347th FG), Headquarters Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.
On November 22, 1944 took off from Middleburg Airfield piloted by Lt. Col. Robert B. Westbrook on a strafing mission over Celebes (Sulawesi). Over the target, this aircraft was shot down strafing a 140' Japanese gunboat in Makassar Harbor on the western side of the island. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).
Westbrook was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He earned the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC), Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) with Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Medal with fifteen Oak Leaf Clusters. He was entitled to the Purple Heart, posthumously.
Westbrook is memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing. He also has a memorial marker at San Fernando Cemetery #3 in San Antonio, TX.
USAF Serial Number Search Results - P-38J-20-LO Lightning 44-23394
Nebraska State Journal by AP December 20, 1944
"Lt. Col. Robert B. Westbrook, 27, Hollywood, Calif., air ace, with 20 enemy planes definitely to his credit, was killed Nov. 22 while making a strafing run against a gunboat with was escorting two Japanese freighters."
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert B. Westbrook
FindAGrave - LtCol Robert B Westbrook (photos, tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Robert B. "Westy" Westbrook, Jr (memorial marker photo)
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