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  P-38G-5-LO Lightning Serial Number 42-12850  
5th AF
49th FG
9th FS

Pilot  2nd Lt. James W. Fagan, O-746067 (MIA / KIA) NY
MIA  September 6, 1943
MACR  6578

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

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 49th Fighter Group, 9th Fighter Squadron. No known nickname or nose art. When lost, engines V-1710-51 and V-1710-55 serial numbers: 42-32964 and 42-29304. Weapon serial numbers not listed in Missing Air Crew Report 6578.

Mission History
On September 6, 1943 took off from Horanda Drome near Dobodura on a mission to intercept by a formation of Japanese fighters and bombers over the Lae - Finschhafen area. This was Lt Fagan's first combat mission. The weather was 3/10 cloud cover at 15,000' at Morobe with the weather clear and building up over Lae.

This aircraft appeared to be having difficulty in dropping its right drop tank. Last seen by P-38 piloted by Captain Richard I. Bong and P-38 piloted by 2nd Lt. Raymond A. Swift. When this P-38 failed to return, it was listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

After the loss, search missions failed to locate any trace of the aircraft or the pilot.

Fagen was officially declared dead on December 19, 1945. He is memorialized at the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery. Fagan has a memorial marker at Saint Francis Cemetery in Le Roy, NY.

Missing Air Crew Report 6578 (MACR 6578)
According to the 49th Fighter Group History, it was thought that the aircraft may be in the Wau or Tsili Tsili area. The 49th Fighter Group History states that the interception took place about 20 miles southeast of Lae.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - James W. Fagan
FindAGrave - 2Lt James W Fagan
FindAGrave - James W Fagan (memorial marker)

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Last Updated
February 18, 2020


Tech Information

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