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  F-6D-10-NA Mustang Serial Number 44-14633  
USAAF
5th AF
71st TRG
82nd TRS

Pilot  1st Lt. James G. Richards, O-676652 (MIA / KIA) WY
Crashed  December 4, 1944 at 5:45pm
MACR  12190

Aircraft History
Built by North American in Inglewood, California as a P-51D-10-NA Mustang. Constructor Number 109-28266. Converted to F-6D-10-NA photographic reconnaissance version. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South-West Pacific Area (SWPA) and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 71st Tactical Reconnaissance Group, 82nd Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron. No known nickname or nose art. When lost, engine V-1650-7 serial number unknown. Weapon serial numbers not noted in Missing Air Crew Report 12190.

Mission History
On December 4, 1944 one of six Mustangs that took off from Biak Island at 3:00pm on a ferry flight bound for Wama Airfield on Morotai Island. After take off, the formation separated into two flights. The second flight included Lt. Richards and his wingman 1st Lt. Charles R. Garner.

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).

Memorials
Richards was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

References
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - James G. Richards
Missing Air Crew Report 12190 (MACR 12190)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - James G. Richards
FindAGrave - 1Lt James G Richards (tablets of the missing)

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Last Updated
January 5, 2018

 

Tech Info
F-6D

MIA
MIA

1 Missing

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