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|Pilot 1st Lt. Edward B. Cochran, O-016970 (MIA / KIA) TX
Crashed April 29, 1944
Only Major Dill and wingman Cochran proceeded to the target area. Cochran radioed that there were two ships off Cape Lambert, behind the enemy demarcation line off New Britain.
Climbing to 6000' the two planes dove on the targets and initiated a strafing run. Dill later stated: "there was no recognition signals of any kind." Both were unaware the targets were actually a pair of U. S. Navy (USN) PT Boats: PT-347 and PT-350. During the strafing run, Cochran was shot down by defensive fire from PT-347 and crashed into the sea.
Afterwards, the Major Dills circled once and did not see his wingman. Major Dills then flew back to Green Island Airfield (Nissan) and after landing "Ordering immediate Attack!" on the enemy gunboats, still unaware they were friendly vessels. When Cochran failed to return, he was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).
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