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  P-38L-5-LO Lightning Serial Number 44-25217  
USAAF
5th AF
8th FG
36th FS

Pilot  Lt. Col Grattan "Grant" Mahony (KIA, BR) OR
Crashed  January 3, 1945
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank. Constructors Number 422-6221 Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-38L-5-LO Lightning serial number 44-25217. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 8th Fighter Group (8th FG), 36th Fighter Squadron (36th FS). No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On January 3, 1945 took off from San Jose Airfield on Mindoro piloted by Lt. Col Grattan "Grant" Mahony on a mission to escort A-20 Havocs over Puerta Princessa on Palawan Island. Over the target, he spotted a Japanese seaplane near shore and told his formation to continue escorting the A-20s while he dove down to strafe the seaplane, claiming it destroyed but he was hit by heavy anti-aircraft fire in his wing, caught fire and was observed to disappear across the shore and crash in the jungle beyond. At the time of his death, according to his 201 File, "Mahony had flown more combat hours than any other pursuit pilot in the AAF."

Search
Aboard a cruiser offshore, Col. Allison, who witnessed the crash from the deck of a cruiser offshore initiated a search as soon as possible.

Wreckage
Later, the wreckage of his aircraft was found, but Mahony’s body was not inside the wreckage.

Recovery of Remains
Later, his body was recovered (details unknown) and transported to Manila for permanent burial.

Memorials
Mahony was buried in Manila American Cemetery at plot J row 4 grave 26.

Seeking Relatives & Additional Information
Do you have additional information on Mahony? Are you a relative of Mahony?

References
Note: some website references incorrectly spell his surname "Mahoney" [sic Mahony].
U. S. Army 201 File - Grattan "Grant" Mahony
USAF Serial Number Search Results - P-38L-5-LO Lightning 44-25217
USAAF 5th Air Force Loss List - January 3, 1945 via Edward Rogers
"P-38L-6 #44-25217 36th Squadron "Hit while strafing" CL [complete loss - not repaired]"
Doomed From The Start covers his Philippines service in 1941-1942 pages 34 (photo), 136-137, 145, 150-151, 153, 154, 159, 165, 167, 442 (note 5), 443 (note 1), 453 (n. 11), 454 (n. 12)
Attack and Conquer page 136
"Appendix V : Unit Losses: January 3, 1945: Col. Grant Mahoney [sic] (HQ). P-38. He tagged along on a strafing mission to Puerta Princesa on Palawan, P.I. Lieutenant George Lynch (35th Sq) offered to yield the lead and go along as wingman. Col. Mahoney [sic] saw a floatplane in the harbor near the airfield and, even though Lynch warned him that the thing was probably a dummy zeroed in by anti-aircraft, decided to attack. On the way down Lynch could see the flashes of guns on the ground, and silenced some of them with strafing fire, but not before Mahoney [sic] was hit and went straight into the ground. Mahoney [sic] was a hero of the China-Burma-India theater and Lynch's impression of the brief time that he knew the Colonel was that he was a fine officer."
Air Force Magazine "Crusade in the Pacific" by John L. Frisbee, Vol. 68, No. 10 October 1985
FindAGrave - LtCol Grant Mahony (photos)
Thanks to Edward Rogers and William Bartsch for additional information

Contribute Information
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?

Last Updated
November 14, 2019

 

Tech Info
P-38
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