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|Pilot 1st Lt. James G. Richards, O-676652 (MIA / KIA) WY
Crashed December 4, 1944 at 5:45pm
The formation passed Middleburg at 3:45pm. checked the weather then proceeded to Morotai. Approaching the northern tip of Halmahera, the weather became bad with heavy towering cumulus clouds from sea level to 30,000'. Due to a shortage of fuel, the formation could not turn back and attempted to fly through an opening at 12,000', but the weather closed in at 5:45pm. Richards became separated in the bad weather and was heard by 2nd Lt. Philips, 1st Lt. Garner and 2nd Lt. Lambert contacting Morotai for weather reports by radio.
F-6D Mustang piloted by Garner bailed out and was later rescued. The rest of the formation were told to reverse course, flew for 15 minutes but experienced weak radio signal, so returned to their original heading and landed safely at 6:15pm at Wama Airfield. When Richards failed to arrive, he was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).
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