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  P-38G-1-LO Lightning Serial Number 42-12715  
5th AF
35th FG
39th FS
USAAF January 20, 1943
Pilot  1st Lt. Fred Burnam Shifflet, Jr., O-406491 (MIA / KIA) OH
Crashed  March 3, 1943
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank, California. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 35th Fighter Group, 39th Fighter Squadron. No known nickname or nose art. This P-38 was flown by Thomas Lynch, Fred Shifflett and Walters. Ten victories were painted on the nose. Officially, this aircraft was written off from USAAF on June 7, 1943.

Wartime History
On December 31, 1942 this aircraft was flown by 1st Lt. Thomas J. Lynch, along with twelve other P-38s escorting A-20 Havocs, B-25 Mitchells and B-26 Mauraders on a bombing mission against Lae Airfield. Lynch made several passes at Oscars and Zeros, shooting one down that crashed into the water. 

Mission History
On March 3, 1943 took off from 14 Mile Drome (Schwimmer) near Port Moresby on a patrol mission during the Battle of the Bismarck Sea. Over the target, shot down by Japanese fighters. According to fellow pilot Col Charles W. King, he believe Shifflet crashed 20 miles east of Tami Islands.

Shifflet was officially declared dead on December 20, 1945. Memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery. Shifflet has a memorial marker at Arlington National Cemetery in section g.

Previously, Shifflet was rescued after the loss of P-38 lost October 14, 1942
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) Fred B. Shifflet Jr.
FindAGrave - Lieut Fred Burnam Shifflet, Jr. (memorial photo)
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - P-38G Lightning 42-12715
Flightpath Magazine "Tropical Lightning Survivor" by Bruce Hoy, Volume 4 No. 2

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Last Updated
June 4, 2019


Tech Info

1 Missing

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