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  P-61A-5-NO Black Widow Serial Number 42-5562  
USAAF
5th AF
421st NFS

Pilot  1st Lt Vincent W. King O-730135 (MIA / KIA) Los Angeles, CA
Radio  F/O Raymond G. Mazalan (survived) Blue Island, IL
Passenger  Lt. Dorrie E. Jones (survived) Pasadena, CA

MIA  February 3, 1945
MACR  14300

Aircraft History
Built by Northrop in Hawthorne, California completed on April 2, 1944. Constructors Number 788. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-61A-5-NO Black Widow serial number 42-5562 on April 4, 1944. The next day, flown to the Daggett Modification Center. Afterwards, flown to Oakland on May 6, 1944 and disassembled and shipped across the Pacific departing the next day bound for the South West Pacific Area (SWPA).

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 421st Night Fighter Squadron and received on June 3, 1944. When lost, engines were R-2800-65 serial numbers 42-11441 and 42-11436. Weapon serial numbers noted in MACR. Officially, this aircraft was dropped from the inventory on February 5, 1945.

Mission History
On February 3, 1945 took off at 10:00am from Tacloban Airfield on Leyte piloted by 1st Lt Vincent W. King on a courier flight "on squadron business" and landed at Peleliu Airfield on Peleliu Island at approximately 1:00pm and refueled, then took off again bound for Sorido Drome on Biak and planned to arrive at 4:15pm.

After two and a half hours as this aircraft approached Biak, this P-61 experienced showers and a wind of 8-12 knots while flying at 8,000' and then thunderstorms. Lost, this aircraft ran out of fuel and the crew was bailed out over Geelvink Bay off the north coast of New Guinea. When this aircraft failed to arrive it was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).

Fates of the Crew
Pilot King was never seen again. It is possible that King may have bailed out incorrectly and was killed in the attempt. He was officially declared dead on February 4, 1946. He is memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.

Mazalan successfully bailed out and landed in a tree top, approximately 200' from the ground and waited in his chute until morning, then finally reached the ground at 12:30. Finding a river, he attempted to make a raft, but it sank and slept the night in the jungle. The next day, he met native people who took him to Seroei on Yapen to Dutch NICA post and was checked by a Dutch doctor and interviewed by Lt. Campbell of the 3rd Emergency Air Sea Rescue Squadron, who he provided the coordinates of his parachute. Three days later, Lt. Jones joined him at the same post, and both proceeded to Biak.

Jones successfully bailed out and landed in a 150' tall tree at roughly 9:30. He had dislocating his knee and stayed in his parachute until the next morning, then descended from the tree with his life raft, but had left his survival kit back at base. That evening he found a creek by the evening and rested under his raft, and the next morning traveled northeast and found native people and was taken by canoe down river to a village, then to Seroei on Yapen, arriving Wednesday night where there was a Dutch NICA post and met Mazalan who was already there and the next day was taken to Biak.

Search
When this P-61 failed to arrive at Biak, C-47s were dispatched to search for it, without results. After the two crew members reached Biak, they resumed searching on February 13 searching for four hours, without results. Also, an aircraft from the 3rd Emergency Air Sea Rescue Squadron unsuccessfully searched, but observed two parachutes at 136 44' E 2 20' S.

Wreckage
As he descended, Jones saw the P-61 pass in a steep spiraling glide, crash, explode and burn. Reportedly, this wreck was discovered in the jungle postwar.

Memorials
King was officially declared dead on February 4, 1946. He is memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.

Mazalan died on June 30, 2005. He is buried at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Alsip, IL.

Jones passed away February 25, 1986. He is buried at Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, CA.

References
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records -
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Raymond G. Mazalan
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Dorrie E. Jones
USAF Serial Number Search Results - P-61A-5-NO Black Widow 42-5562
"5562 (421st FG, 86th Fighter Wing, 5th AF) crashed near Geelvink Bay off north coast of New Guinea after ran out of fuel during a thunderstorm Feb 3, 1945. MACR 14300. All 3 crew bailed out but the pilot was killed in the bail out. Other two were rescued."
Missing Air Crew Report 14300 (MACR 14300)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Vincent W. King
FindAGrave - 1Lt Vincent W King (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Raymond G. Mazalan (obituary)
FindAGrave - Dorrie E. Jones (grave photo)

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Last Updated
January 4, 2019

 

Tech Info
P-61

MIA
MIA
1 Missing
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