|Pilot Major Orval B. Collins, O-428475 (MIA / KIA) KS
MIA March 21, 1944
Built by Bell. Delivered to the U. S. Army. The Airacobra model and serial number are unknown, likely a P-39Q Airacobra or P-39N Airacobra. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South Pacific and reassembled.
Assigned to the 13th Air Force, 347th Fighter Group, 67th Fighter Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.
On March 21, 1944 took off from Green Island Airfield (Nissan) piloted by Collins with a single bomb on a dive bombing mission against Lakunai Airfield at Rabaul. Over the target, the tail of this aircraft was seen to disintegrate while pulling out of a dive, caught fire and crashed over the target. When this aircraft failed to return, the pilot was declared Missing In Action (MIA).
Collins was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He is memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing. He also has a memorial marker at Umatilla Cemetery in Umatilla, FL.
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Orval B. Collins
Missing Air Crew Report 16494 (MACR 16494)
67th Fighter Squadron March 1944 page 2: "(14) 21 March: Major Orval B. Collins killed on mission over Lakunai Airdrome, Rabaul City." page 3 "c. 21 March: Major Collins
crashed on Lakunai Airdrome, Rabaul City, while on dive bombing mission. On the pull out his tail was seen to disintegrate. The plane then caught fire and crashed."
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Orval B. Collins
FindAGrave - Maj Orval B Collins (tablets of the missing)
Orval B. Collins (memorial marker)
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January 5, 2018