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  P-39Q-5-BE Airacobra Serial Number 42-19933  
USAAF
5th AF
71st TRG
110th TRS

Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement

Rod Pearce c1970s

Pilot  2nd Lt. Richard L. Starkey, O-812166 (MIA / KIA) MA
MIA  August 13, 1944
MACR  none

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

Wartime History
Assigned 5th Air Force, 71st Tactical Reconnaissance Group, 110th Reconnaissance Squadron. No known nose art or nickname.

Mission History
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.

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

Wreckage
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.

References
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - P-39Q Airacobra 42-19933
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Richard L. Starkey
FindAGrave - 2Lt Richard L Starkey (tablets of the missing)

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

Tech Info
P-39

MIA
MIA
1 Missing

SCUBA
30'

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