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  P-39D-15-BE Airacobra Serial Number 41-6956  
USAAF
5th AF
8th FG
36th FS

Pilot  2nd Lt. Charles Schwimmer, O-420649 (MIA / KIA) Kansas City, MS
MIA  May 4, 1942
MACR  10060

Aircraft History
Built by Bell in Buffalo, New York. Delivered to the U.S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 8th Fighter Group, 36th Fighter Squadron. No known nose art or nickname.

On May 2, 1942 Schwimmer took off to intercept incoming Japanese aircraft in the vicinity of Port Moresby. He was credited with the destruction of a Japanese bomber over 7-Mile Drome at 8:00am.

Mission History
On May 4, 1942 took off from 7-Mile Drome near Port Moresby in the early morning on a mission to strafe Lae Airfield at dawn. It was reported that his aircraft was forced down due to bad weather in the vicinity of Salamaua at about 5:55am. Also lost were P-39D 41-6825 (MIA), P-39D 41-6971 (MIA), P-39F 41-7145 (MIA).

Naming Honor
On November 10, 1942 14 Mile Drome (Laloki) near Port Moresby was officially named "Schwimmer Drome" in his honor.

Memorials
Schwimmer was officially declared dead on December 4, 1945. He is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

References
Many sources incorrectly list Schwimmer's loss as May 3, 1942 over the Port Moresby area
Missing Air Crew Report 10060 (MACR 10060)
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - P-39D Airacobra 41-6956
Thanks to Edward Rogers for additional information

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

Tech Info
P-39

MIA
MIA
1 Missing

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