|Pilot 1st Lt. Leonard R. Farron, O-432011 (MIA / KIA) Pierce County, WA
Crashed October 15, 1942
Leonard R. Farron was a full blooded Puyallup Indian born in Pierce County, Washington State. He studied aeronautical engineering at the University of Washington before enlisting in the U. S. Army as an aviation cadet. After graduating flight school, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant and assigned as a fighter pilot to the 70th Fighter Squadron.
Built by Bell in Buffalo, New York. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas and reassembled at.
By early October 1942, this Airacobra was assigned to the 13th Air Force, 347th Fighter Group, 67th Fighter Squadron. Nose number 11. No known nickname or nose art. This aircraft operated from at Nadi Airfield on Fiji. During early October 1942, flown to Henderson Field on Guadalcanal.
On October 15, 1942 took off from Henderson Field armed with an aerial bomb on a combat mission against Japanese transports. At 12:25 a formation of Airacobras including P-39s and P-400s attacked the transports. Ten minutes after the attack, Farron rendezvoused with the formation but failed to return from the mission. When he failed to return, he was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).
That same day, Japanese Zeros made three claims for P-39 Airacobras shot down. Possibly, one or more of these claims was for Farron's aircraft. A P-39 was claimed by A6M2 Zero piloted by Yoshio Wajima from the 2nd Kokutai, 2nd Shotai. A P-39 was claimed by A6M2 Zero piloted by Kiichi Nagano from the 2nd Kokutai, 3rd Shotai. Another P-39 was claimed by A6M2 Zero pilot Takeo Okumura from the Tainan Kokutai, 2nd Shotai. Finally, a P-39 probable was claimed by A6M2 Zero pilot Takeyoshi Ono, Tainan Kokutai, 1st Shotai.
Farron was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He is memorialized on the Honolulu Memorial courts of the missing, court 7 at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl).
This aircraft crashed east of the Tenaru River. On December 30, 1942 U. S. Army Private Clark from the 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division discovered the wreckage of this aircraft roughly 50-70 yards east of the Ilu River [sic Tenaru], 700 yards inland to the south. Inside the cockpit was the skeletal remains of the pilot.
During late January to early February 2013 a team from Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) searched for this Airacobra in the Tassafaronga area. In March 2013, the historical reference to the crash site being found by the U. S. Army was located at National Archives and Records Administration by a JPAC historian.
During August 2013, a team from JPAC located the crash site and recommended it for further excavation. The aircraft was mostly scrapped and only the engine and other wreckage remained. During January to February 2015, another team from DPAA excavated the site and recovered human remains, life support and wreckage.
On December 9, 2015 the Department of Defense (DoD) announced Farron was identified and accounted for. His remains will be buried during the summer at the Puyallup Tribal Cemetery at Tacoma, WA
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records Leonard R Farron
Full-Blooded Indian Fighter Plane Pilot by United Press (UP) April 15, 1942
"Tacoma, Wash. (UP)—Leonard Farron, a full-blooded Puyallup Indian, has gone on the warpath for Uncle Sam in a speedy fighter plane. Farron, who majored in aeronautical engineering at the University of Washington, has been commissioned a second lieutenant in the U. S. Air force. The lieutenant is a great grandson of A. V. Kauzt, who once served; as a general in the Union Army. His grandfather, Augustus Kautz, was one of the original 18 iPuyallup Indians to enter the Indian school at Forest Grove, Ore., forerunner of the Chemawa Indian school."
Missing Air Crew Report 602 (MACR 602)
Kodochosho, 2nd Kōkūtai, October 15, 1942
Kodochosho, Tainan Kōkūtai, October 15, 1942
Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) - Recently Accounted For - Leonard R. Farron
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) -
Leonard R. Farron
"1LT Farron's remains were recovered from Guadalcanal in 2015 and identified. Interment at the Puyallup Tribal Cemetery at Tacoma, WA. 1LT Farron's name is permanently inscribed on the Tablets of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial, National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific."
1Lt Leonard R Farron (tablets of the missing photo)
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February 4, 2018