|Pilot 2nd Lt John McIntyre (KIA)
Crsahed April 29, 1943
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, 80th Fighter Squadron "Headhunters". No known nickname or nose art.
On April 29, 1943 took off from Schwimmer Drome (14 Mile) near Port Moresby piloted by 2nd Lt John McIntyre. This P-38 attempted to perform a loop close to the ground and crashed six miles east of the airfield. This aircraft was observed hitting the ground by an Australian Army anti-aircraft gun crew nearby.
This crash site was located on a small hillside, near
Goldie Barracks near Port Moresby.
Ray Fairfield adds:
"Not long after I arrived in New Guinea in 1963 I went with Bill Chapman and others to a P38 wreck, 'somewhere in the start of the foothills behind Moresby' to the best of my recollection, I was just along for the ride. It was a P-38 as the machine guns were present, and was the most destructive impact I've ever seen. It hit on the side of a steep little ridge, and just went down vertically - must have been almost supersonic. We found a .50 cal with the barrel driven right through the action, and I remember comments that if the pilot was in it, he would still be there, a long way down."
Keith Hopper adds:
"The P-38 wreck outside Port Moresby that Ray Fairfield visited in the 1960's and appeared to have gone in vertically. It sounds very much like the first P-38 lost by the 80th FS when they first arrived in POM and were operating out of Schwimmer (14 Mile) (for a short time before moving to Kila Drome (3 mile). I finally found this wreck in 2009 after about seven years of knowing that it was in the vicinity but being unable to locate it (very frustrating, but also very satisfying to finally pin it down). I have the crash report, he was doing a loop close to the ground, 6 miles east of Schwimmer and was seen to impact hard by an Australian anti-aircraft crew. Today the site is on a small hillside, just below the water tanks for the PNGDF Goldie Barracks, actually located inside the barracks perimeter. All that remained when I visited was the 20mm canon sticking vertically out of the ground, and very small pieces (wrist watch size) scattered around in the grass. Of course the guides told me that the wings were only scrapped 2 years ago! There is a propeller in the PNGDF Museum, but I have been unable to gain access to confirm whether it is from the P-38 or not."
Ray Fairfield adds:
"Keith Hopper's wreck certainly sounds the most likely, although I don't remember the cannon, and as for the wings being scrapped, they were totally scrapped in the crash I saw. I particularly remember noting that the heavy spar caps, a U-section forging, had torn along the rivet holes, like toilet paper, and rolled up. There certainly wouldn't be an intact propeller associated with it."
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) and Nationwide Graveside Locater do not list a grave for McIntyre.
Thanks to Ray Fairfield and Keith Hopper for additional information.
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August 11, 2019