|Pilot 1st Lt. Floyd H. Fulkerson (WIA, rescued)
Force Landed December 25, 1944
Fulkerson joined the 431st Fighter Squadron during June 1943. His first victory was on February 3, 1944. He scored another on December 7, 1944 over Ormoc Bay off Leyte. On the December 25, 1944 mission over Clark Field area he was credited with two Ki-43 Oscars. In total, he had four credits and flew 124 1/2 combat missions.
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank, California. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-38L-1-LO Lightning serial number 44-248?? (last two digits unknown). Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 475th Fighter Group, 431st Fighter Squadron. No known nose art. Possibly, nicknamed "Whose Next".
One of fifteen P-38s that took off from Dulag Airfield on Leyte for a fighter sweep and escort mission for B-24s attacking over Mabalacat Field near Clark Field. Arrived over the target at 21,000' and were intercepted by 20 enemy fighters attacking from two directions.
During the air combat, Fulkerson was credited with two Ki-43 Oscars shot down, but was hit in both tail booms and his P-38's coolant system was damaged but still had power but was unable to return to base.
Instead, he force landed in a cultivated rice paddy, skidding across the field until his aircraft came to rest against an earthen berm. The impact cracked several of Fulkerson vertebrae. This aircraft was one of three P-38s lost on the mission. Also lost on the mission was P-38L 44-24846 piloted by Koeck and P-38L 44-24889 piloted by Provencio.
Fate of the Pilot
Located by Filipino guerrillas, he was taken to safety and spent a month in their camp until rescued by an L-5 that flew him back to base. Due to his spinal injury, he did not return to combat.
USAF Aerial Victory Credits - Floyd H. Fulkerson
Thanks to John Dejanovich for additional information
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June 4, 2019