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5th AF April 3, 1944
5th AF c1944
|Pilot Tom Malone (survived)
Crashed March 22, 1944
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank. Constructors Number 2820. At the factory, this P-38 was completed with an unpainted aluminum finish. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-38J-15-LO Lightning serial number 42-103993. Assigned project number 96397-H. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 49th Fighter Group (49th FG), 9th Fighter Squadron (9th FS). Assigned to pilot Captain Richard I. Bong who nicknamed it "Marge" after his wife. On the left side of the nose painted on left nose gun cover was nickname "Marge" with a white outline and nose art of his wife's portrait painted realistically from a photograph. Below forward cockpit canopy was rectangle with "Cap. R. I. Bong. Pilot T/Sgt C. Fincner S/Sgt H. Lander plus Bong's scoreboard with Japanese rising sun flags in five rows representing his 25 aerial victory claims (as of April 3, 1944). Below was the serial number stencil block and project number.
During early 1944, this P-38 was flown by Bong from Gusap Airfield on combat missions over New Guinea. Flying this aircraft he claimed several aerial victories.
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