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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 Jones (survived) Pasadena, CA

MIA  February 3, 1945
MACR  14300

Aircraft History
Built by Northrop in Hawthorne, California. Completed on April 2, 1944 and it was delivered to the US Army on April 4, 1944. Flown to the Daggett Modification Center arriving on April 5, 1944. Afterwards, flown to Oakland for overseas deployment on May 6, 1944.

Transported aboard ship, departing on May 7, 1944 for Australia. 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
Took off from Tacloban Airfield at 10:00am on a courier flight "on squadron business" and landed at Peleliu Airfield 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, approaching 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.

Fates of the Crew
The 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 and is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

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 wa 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.

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Last Updated
January 5, 2018

 

Tech Info
P-61

MIA
MIA
(Pilot only)

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