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  P-39K-1-BE Airacobra Serial Number 42-4274  
USAAF
13th AF
347th FG
70th FS

Pilot  Major Waldon Williams, O-399598 C.O. 70th Fighter Squadron (MIA / KIA) UT
MIA  April 7, 1943
MACR  603

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

Wartime History
Assigned 13th Air Force, 347th Fighter Group, 70th Fighter Squadron. No known nose art or nickname.

Mission History
On April 7, 1943 took off from Guadalcanal leading a flight of P-39s that reportedly failed to make contact with the enemy. At 12,000' Maj. Williams peeled off, released his drop tank, and went into a vertical dive. He was last seen at 6,000' and was listed as missing, the only American fighter pilot lost in the action. It is unclear why his wing man or the flight did not follow him down. Likely, Williams sighted Zeros and dove to engage them but was shot down. Junyƍ A6M2 Zeros claimed a P-39 as a certain victory.

Memorials
Williams was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery. Williams earned the Purple Heart (posthumously).

References
X Attack of I-Operation by Richard Dunn
Joe Baugher "Bell P-39K Airacobra"

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

Tech Info
P-39

MIA
MIA
1 Missing

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