Randall B. Keator was a pilot in the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF). He was assigned to the 24th Pursuit Group, 20th Pursuit Squadron based at Clark Field.
On December 8, 1941 he shoot down the first Japanese aircraft over the Philippines, his only credited aerial victory.
Keator was evacuated to Australia he was assigned to the 49th Fighter Group and flew in the defense of Darwin. Assigned P-40E "The Spoddessape" 41-25178 that he nicknamed "The Spoddessape" (Spotted assed ape) in reference to pilot Keator's
description of how fast he left the Philippines, 'like a spotted ass
ape'. The right side of the aircraft had a pelican with a frog bombardier
and crayfish firing
a shotgun under the bird's wing and carrying a bomb in its feet, in reference to his home state of Louisiana.
Next, Keator was based at 3 Mile Drome (Kila) near Port Moresby and continued to fly combat missions over New Guinea. Between missions, he was an avid hunter, borrowing shotguns and rifles from his unit's armory
to hunt pigs and ducks to supplement their rations
with fresh meat.
A display at the National D-Day Museum includes Keator's diary, Distinguished
Flying Cross, photo and dog tags.
Doomed at the Start
Protect & Avenge