|Pilot Lt. Col Grattan "Grant" Mahony (KIA, BR) OR
Crashed January 3, 1945
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank, California. Delivered to the U. S. Army, serial number unknown, likely a P-38J or P-38L. Disassembled and shipped overseas and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 8th Fighter Group, Headquarters Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.
On January 3, 1945 took off from San Jose Airfield on Mindoro on a mission to escort A-20 Havocs over Puerta Princessa. 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.
Col. Allison, who witnessed the crash from the deck of a cruiser offshore, instituted a search as soon as possible.
Later, the wreckage of his aircraft was found, but Mahony’s body was not inside.
Later, his body was recovered (details unknown). He was permanently buried in Manila American Cemetery at Plot J Row 4 Grave 26.
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Note: some website references incorrectly spell his surname "Mahoney".
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 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 was hit and went straight into the ground. Mahoney 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
Mahony was interviewed by war correspondent George Weller on Java during February 1942.
FindAGrave - LtCol Grant Mahony (photos)
Thanks to Edward Rogers and William Bartsch for additional information
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September 25, 2018