|Pilot 1st Lt. Raymond A. Morrissey, O-660180 (MIA / KIA) McLean County, IL
MIA February 13, 1943
MACR 605 / 611
Built by Curtiss as a model H87-B3 in Buffalo, New York during 1941. This aircraft was the 511 of 699 P-40Fs manufactured. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-40F Warhawk serial number 41-14110.
Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South Pacific then reassembled.
Assigned to the 13th Air Force, 347th Fighter Group 68th Fighter Squadron. No known nickname or nose art. This aircraft was assigned to the 44th Fighter Squadron Detachment (44th FS Detachment) operating from Fighter 2 (Kukum) on Guadalcanal. When lost, engine V-1650-1 serial number unknown. Armed with six .50 caliber machine guns serial numbers unknown.
On February 13, 1943 took off from Fighter 2 (Kukum) on Guadalcanal piloted by 1st Lt. Raymond A. Morrissey as one of seven P-40s on a mission to escorting six B-24 Liberators on a bombing mission against Japanese shipping in the Shortland-Kahilli-Buin area. The escort also included six P-38 Lightnings from the 339th Fighter Squadron. The weather was good with clear visibility.
Inbound, 3 P-40s and 2 P-38s aborted the mission due to engine trouble, leaving the B-24s with an escort of 2 P-38s and 4 P-40s: this aircraft, P-40F 41-14102 pilot Captain Albert L. Johnson, P-40F pilot Captain Jack A. Bade and P-40F pilot Major Robert B. Westbrook.
Over the target, the formation was intercepted by 39 enemy fighters including A6M Zeros and A6M2-N Rufe floatplanes. This P-40 was last seen circling Kahilli Airfield on Bougainville. When this aircraft failed to return, Morrissey was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA). Also lost was P-40F 41-14102 (MIA).
Justin Taylan adds:
"I researched this mission at the Tokyo Defense archives. A total of 39 Japanese aircraft intercepted: 11 Rufes (one aborted) of 802 Kōkūtai, 20 Zeros of the 252 Kōkūtai and 9 Zeros of the 204 Kōkūtai."
Morrissey was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He earned Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously. Morrissey is memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.
He also has a memorial marker at Saint Marys Cemetery in Bloomington, IL.
World War II Army Enlistment Records - Raymond A. Morrissey
USAF Serial Number Search Results - P-40F Warhawk 41-14110
"14110 (347th FG) MIA Feb 13, 1943, Kahili. MACR 605"
347th Fighter Group Advanced Echelon APO 709 "Preliminary Intelligence Summary of Operations of Army Fighter Planes at Cactus - December 1, 1942 to February 17, 1943" February 21, 1943
(Page 3) "Date: 2/13 Type: P-40 How Lost: Lost in combat near Bougainville. Pilot: Lt. Morrissey - missing."
Missing Air Crew Report 605 (MACR 605) related to Morrissey
was created September 11, 1943
Missing Air Crew Report 611 (MACR 611) pilot Johnson was created created September 11, 1943 (with map circa June 1943 indicating the approximate loss locations of 1. Morrissey, 2. Johnson, 3. Sooter and 4. Carter)
Kodochosho, 802 Kōkūtai, February 13, 1943
Kodochosho, 204 Kōkūtai, February 13, 1943
Kodochosho, 252 Kōkūtai, February 13, 1943
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Raymond A. Morrissey
FindAGrave - 1Lt Raymond A Morrissey (photo, tablets of the missing)
Raymond A. Morrissey (memorial marker photo)
Guadalcanal and the Origins of the 13th Air Force pages 180-181
Vampire Squadron (1985) by William H. Starke pages 25-26
Thanks to Edward Rogers and Justin Taylan for additional information
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?
June 29, 2019