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  P-47D-3-RA Thunderbolt Serial Number 42-22662  
USAAF
5th AF
35th FG
41st FS

Pilot  2nd Lt. John H. Hartsfield, O-677035 (MIA / KIA) NM
MIA  February 14, 1944
MACR  15852

Aircraft History
Built by Republic at the Indiana Division of Republic Aviation in Evansville, IN. Constructor Number 413. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South-West Pacific and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 35th Fighter Group, 41st Fighter Squadron. No known nose art or nickname.

Mission History
On February 14, 1944 took off from Gusap Airfield on an escort mission over Wewak. Returning from the mission, this P-47's engine was observed to be smoking and ceased functioning, causing the aircraft to begin gliding downward from 18,500'. By skilled maneuvering, Hartsfield was able to glide almost twenty miles before crash and burned a quarter mile west of Annanberg.

Captain Richard Mikiska witnessed the crash and did not see Hartsfield bail out. As Mikiska overflew the crash site, he saw no evidence of a parachute or the pilot.

Search
On February 15, 1944 and February 16, 1944 search missions were conducted over the crashed aircraft and adjacent territory, but no evidence of the pilot was found. The Air Intelligence Force was contacted relative to the possibility of dispatching an investigative patrol. After due consideration, it was decided that there was insufficient justification for sending a patrol so deeply into enemy territory.

Wreckage
During 1946, a Kiap (Patrol Officer) visited the crash site.

John Douglas adds:
"The Patrol Office located a grave, from which remains were removed."

Memorials
After the recovery of remains, Hartsfield was buried at Woodbine Cemetery in Eddy County, New Mexico in plot 26-21-8.

References
Missing Air Crew Report 15852 (MACR 15852)
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - P-47D Thunderbolt 42-22662
Lists location as 1 mile north of Nodabu and 2 miles NW of Annanberg Mission.
FindAGrave - John H. Hartsfield (grave photo)
Thanks to Kenneth D. Wilson for constructor number

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

Tech Info
P-47

MIA
MIA
1 Missing
Resolved

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