|Pilot 1st Lt Hoyt A. Eason, O-428482 (MIA / KIA) MS
MIA March 3, 1943
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank, California. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 35th Fighter Group, 39th Fighter Squadron based at 14 Mile Drome near Port Moresby.
On January 6, 1943 took off piloted by Richard E. Smith when he shot down a single Japanese fighter.
During the the Battle of the Bismarck Sea, took off from 14 Mile Drome (Schwimmer) near Port Moresby on an mission over the Bismarck Sea. This P-38 failed to return and was listed as Missing In Action (MIA).
Robert Rocker adds:
"39th Fighter Squadron pilot Curran J. Jones told me that during the Battle of the Bismarck Sea on his return to base he saw Hoyt Eason's P-38 tail sticking up out of the water circled and saw Eason in the water in his Mae west but when the PBY's looked for him he was never found the fog of war plus that channel is full of sharks between New Britain and New Guinea."
Eason was officially declared dead on December 20, 1945. He is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - P-38F Lightning 41-12633
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February 18, 2020