|Pilot Captain Albert L. Johnson, O-417149 (MIA / KIA) CA
MIA February 13, 1943
MACR 605 / 611
Built by Curtiss in Buffalo, New York. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South Pacific.
Assigned to the 13th Air Force, 347th Fighter Group 68th Fighter Squadron. No known nickname or nose art. When lost, the Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) 605/611 does not list the serial number of this aircraft. Other sources list this aircraft as P-40F Warhawk serial number 41-14825 with tail code "White 102".
On February 13, 1943 took off from Fighter 2 (Kukum) as part of a formation with four P-38s and seven P-40s escorting six B-24 Liberators on mission to attack shipping in the Shortland-Kahilli-Buin area.
On the way to the target, 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 41-14110, P-40F piloted by Bade and P-40F piloted by 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 around 11:00 near Ballale. Attacked by Zeros, this fighter went missing, likely shot down. When this aircraft failed to return, Johnson was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA). Posthumously, he earned the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) and Purple Heart for this mission.
Justin Taylan adds:
"I researched this mission at the Tokyo Defense archives. The following Japanese aircraft attacked: eleven Rufes (one aborted) from the 802 Kōkūtai, twenty Zeros of the 252 Kōkūtai and nine Zeros of the 204 Kōkūtai. A total of 39 Japanese aircraft."
Johnson was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.
Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) 605 and Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) 611
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) -
Albert L. Johnson
Kodochosho, 802 Kōkūtai, February 13, 1943
Kodochosho, 204 Kōkūtai, February 13, 1943
Kodochosho, 252 Kōkūtai, February 13, 1943
Guadalcanal and the Origins of the 13th Air Force, pg 180-181
Vampire Squadron, page 25-26
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January 5, 2018