|Pilot 1st Lt. Raymond P. Wiedmeyer, O-686045 (MIA / KIA) Washington County, WI
MIA October 14, 1944 at 10:55am
Built by Republic at the Indiana Division of Republic Aviation in Evansville, IN. Constructor Number 2662. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the Pacific and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 35th Fighter Group, 41st Fighter Squadron. Assigned to pilot 1st Lt. Raymond P. Wiedmeyer. Nicknamed "Claire-Doll III" with the nose art of a photograph with woman's head inside a square. Below the left side of the cockpit was the name of the pilot Lt. Wiedmeyer, crew chief and armour. When lost, engine R-2600-59 serial number FF-003847. Armed with eight .50 caliber machine guns makers and serial numbers listed in Missing Air Crew Report 10025 (MACR 10025).
On October 14, 1944 took off from from Wama Airfield (Guama, Morotai) on Morotai piloted by 1st Lt. Raymond P. Wiedmeyer as one of eight P-47s from the 41st Fighter Squadron plus other P-47s from the 40th Fighter Squadron on a fighter sweep over Manggar
Airfield on Borneo to support of the
bombing mission by B-24s of the oil refineries at Balikpapan.
Wiedmeyer was flying in the no. 4 position of "Beaver Red Flight". Before reaching the target, Wiedmeyer signaled to his element leader in the no. 3 position, 1st Lt. Walter L. Sweeny that his radio was not working or transmitting.
Over the target at 10:35am at 20,000', the weather was generally clear with towering cumulus clouds north of the target up to 25,000' and light cumulus off the northeast end of Manggar. Making "S turns" down the coast, the formation became strung out with Ki-43 Oscars observed in front of them between the first element, more Ki-43 Oscars then P-47 pilot Sweeny, an Oscar then Wiedmeyer when a dogfight unfolded.
Ahead of Wiedmeyer as the dog fight began, the Oscar ahead of him made a firing pass then turned to fire on him. Returning fire, Wiedmeyer hit the Oscar exploding it and it fell into the sea. Meanwhile, Sweeney observed an enemy closing in on a crippled P-47 and dove down to its aid but lost sight of Wiedmeyer and had to maneuver to avoid another Oscar on his tail.
Wiedmeyer was last seen at approximately Lat 1° 13' S Long 116° 57' E. Aftrwards, he failed to rejoin the formation and was never seen again. Since none of the pilots observed him crash, there was a possibility he bailed out or force landed. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).
Later that day, a PBY Catalina searched for Wiedmeyer without results.
Wiedmeyer was officially declared dead on February 21, 1946. He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), Air Medal, Purple Heart, posthumously. Wiedmeyer is memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.
Tom Wiedmeyer (nephew)
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records -
Raymond P. Wiedmeyer
USAF Serial Number Search Results -
P-47D-28-RA Thunderbolt 42-28500
Missing Air Crew Report 10025 (MACR 10025)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Raymond P. Wiedmeyer
1Lt Raymond P Wiedmeyer (tablets of the missing photo)
Thanks to Tom Wiedmeyer for additional information and Kenneth Wilson for constructor number
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October 7, 2019