|Pilot Captain Kenneth G. Ladd, O-732277 C.O. 36th FS (MIA / KIA ) UT
MIA October 15, 1944
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank, California. Delivered to the U. S. Army, serial number unknown. Disassembled and shipped overseas and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 8th Fighter Group, 36th Fighter Squadron. Assigned to pilot Kenneth G. Ladd.
Nicknamed "Nulli Secundus", Latin for "Second to None".
On October 15, 1944 took off piloted by Captain Kenneth G. Ladd on a mission to escort B-24 Liberator on a mission against Balikpapan. Over the target, the escorting P-38s intercepted Ki-44 Tojos to keep them away from the bombers. One B-24 crew said a Lighting was observed to turn into the enemy formation and was overwhelmed and it was observed spinning downward and was presumed to be Ladd. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).
Ladd was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) with three Oak Leaf Clusters, Silver Star, Air Medal with seven Oak Leaf Clusters and Purple Heart, posthumously. Ladd is memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing. He also has a memorial marker at Memory Grove Memorial in Salt Lake City, UT.
For the next four days, pilots from the 36th Fighter Squadron unsuccessfully searched for Ladd.
Ladd was officially credited with 11 victories:
17 Dec 43, 29 Jul 43, 2 Sep 43, 15 Sep 43, 13 Dec 43, 17 Dec 43, 26 Dec 43 (double victory), 23 Jan 44, 31 Mar 44, 3 Apr 44. He later became commanding officer of the 8th Fighter Group, 36th Fighter Squadron.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Kenneth G. Ladd
FindAGrave - Capt Kenneth G Ladd (photo, tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Capt Kenneth G Ladd (memorial marker photo)
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October 8, 2019