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  P-38 Lightning Serial Number ?  
USAAF
5th AF
49th FG
9th FS

Pilot  1st Lt. William A. "Bill" Levitan, O-427754 (MIA / KIA) MA
MIA  March 2, 1943
MACR  none

Pilot History
Previously, Levitan participated in the Java campaign, Darwin campaign and New Guinea campaign.

On December 7, 1942 Levitan was piloting a P-40 Warhawk on a fighter sweep over Buna intercepting Zeros and Vals. Element leader Levitan attacked the bombers, his P-40 went into a spin into clouds then flew back to 30 Mile Drome near Port Moresby.

On December 26, 1942 Levitan was piloting a P-40 Warhawk on fighter sweep over Buna. Over the target, Levitan claimed a "Zeke" [sic Ki-43 Oscar from the 11th Sentai] over Buna. He earned the Air Medal.

Aircraft History
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank, California. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 49th Fighter Group, 9th Fighter Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On March 2, 1943 took off from either Garbutt Field or Horn Island Airfield piloted by 1st Lt. William A. "Bill" Levitan on a ferry flight bound for 14 Mile Drome near Port Moresby. Accompanying a B-17 Flying Fortress, after crossing the Cape York Peninsula, the formation entered a rain storm and was never seen again. This P-38 was presumed lost at sea over the Coral Sea or off the southern coast of New Guinea. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).

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

References
Protect & Avenge: The 49th Fighter Group in World War II pages 97, 100, 119 lists the loss as March 3, 1943
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - William A. Levitan
FindAGrave - 1Lt William A Levitan date of death listed as March 2, 1943

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Last Updated
September 25, 2018

 

Tech Info
P-38

MIAMIA
1 Missing

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