|Pilot 2nd Lt. Richard L. Starkey, O-812166 (MIA / KIA) MA
MIA August 13, 1944
Built by Bell in Buffalo, New York. Delivered to the U.S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas and reassembled.
Assigned 5th Air Force, 71st Tactical Reconnaissance Group, 110th Reconnaissance Squadron. No known nose art or nickname.
On August 13, 1944 took off from Tadji Airfield on a mission against Wewak. Over the target, this Airacobra was hit by anti-aircraft fire and seen gliding down from 1,500' over Boram Point, then ditched perfectly into the sea, a half mile off Mission Point. Pilot Starkey did not exit the aircraft, which sank in about 20 seconds.
Starkey was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.
During the 1970s, this Airacobra was discovered by David Pennefather, and dived by Rod Pearce. The aircraft is roughly a half mile off Mission Point in 30' of water.
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - P-39Q Airacobra 42-19933
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Richard L. Starkey
2Lt Richard L Starkey (tablets of the missing)
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January 5, 2018