|Pilot 1st Lt. Thomas
C. Prizzia, O-797899 (MIA / KIA) NY
MIA February 20, 1945 at approximately 13:15
Built by Republic at the Indiana Division of Republic Aviation in Evansville, IN. Constructor Number 2655. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South-West Pacific and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 35th Fighter Group, 41st Fighter Squadron. Natural aluminium in color with a black cowling. Assigned to pilot 1st Lt Walter Sweeney with crew chief Herb Rosen. Nicknamed "Nancie-A". Two Japanese flags indicated victories claimed by Sweeney on October 14, 1944. When lost, engine R-2800-59 serial number FP-003512. Weapon serial numbers noted in MACR.
Herb Rosen adds:
"Lt Thomas Prizzia was flying my plane when he went missing. The regular pilot was Lt Walter Sweeney. Prizzia flew the plane many times. He was a fun guy, spent time talking to the ground crew."
Took off from Mangaldan Airfield on a fighter sweep over Formosa. At 13:15, Prizzia radioed that he was loosing oil pressure and he would return to base. The Squadron leader acknowledged and told him to proceed back with his wing man returning at 6,000' above an overcast, but his wing man, 2nd Lt. John G. Woliung began to overtake him. Prizzia called over the radio but his message was garbled and did not answer again. Last seen entering an overcast over the Bashi Channel south of Formosa.
Woliung circled the area but saw no trace of him and was unable to contact
the supporting PBY Catalina. The next day, four 41st Fighter Squadron P-47s led by Captain Beamer searched from 1,000' over the area, but failed to locate any trace of Prizzia or his aircraft.
Prizzia was officially declared dead the day of the mission. Memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.
Thanks to Herb Rosen for additional information and Kenneth Wilson for constructor number
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February 4, 2018