|Pilot 2nd Lt. Jess Dore, Jr., O-421063 (MIA / KIA) Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Crashed August 2, 1942
Built by Bell in Buffalo, New York. Assigned Royal Air Force (RAF) serial number AP290. Painted in a three-color camouflage scheme. Instead, delivered to the U. S. Army on December 25, 1941 at Memphis, Tennessee. On February 18, 1942 disassembled at San Francisco, California and shipped overseas to Australia arriving on either March 11, 1942 or April 4, 1942 and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 35th Fighter Group, 41st Fighter Squadron. No known nose art or nickname. This Airacobra was officially condemned on October 26, 1944.
On August 2, 1942 took off from 7-Mile Drome near Port Moresby along with two other Airacobras: P-400 piloted by Lt Jack Wilson and P-400 BX232 piloted by Hague on a mission to escort B-26 Marauders from the 22nd Bombardment Group on a bombing mission over Buna.
Over the target, this aircraft was intercepted by eight A6M2 Zeros of the Tainan Kōkūtai over Ambasi. Dore was last observed with a Zero on his tail and another underneath him. When he failed to return, Dore was declared Missing In Action (MIA).
The Zeros claimed four Airacobras shot down, but only two were lost, this aircraft and P-400 BX232.
Dore was officially declared dead on December 17, 1945. He is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery. Dore also has a memorial marker at Rosebud Cemetery in Glenwood Springs, CO.
Dore was born in Glenwood Springs, Colorado in 1918. On November 20, 1940 he enlisted in the U. S. Army at March Field. He was awarded the Air Medal and Purple Heart (posthumously) and promoted to 1st Lieutenant posthumously.
Individual Aircraft Record Card (IARC) - P-400 Airacobra AP290
History of the 41st Fighter Squadron Chapter 2 - 1 May to Sept. 30, 1942
"2 August, 1943: When Wilson looked back he saw a Zero on Lt. Dore's tail and another Zero underneath. Lt. Dore is missing from these operations."
Kodochosho, Tainan Kōkūtai August 2, 1942
[Action Report, Tainain Air Group] pages 211-212
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Jess Dore Jr.
Jesse Dore, Jr (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - 1Lt Jess Dore, Jr (tablets of the missing)
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - P-400 Airacobra AP 290
Joe Baugher "Airacobra I for RAF, P-400"
Eagles of the Southern Sky page 124
Thanks to Edward Rogers for additional information
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February 4, 2018