|Pilot 1st Lt. John A. Mancini, O-660652 (MIA / KIA) Ballston, NY
MIA April 22, 1943
John A. Mancini was born in 1919. In college, he drove a 1927 Ford Model T.
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank, California. Manufacture Number 222-7401. Converted from a model P-38G-10-LO Lightning into a
photographic reconnaissance version. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as F-5A-10-LO Lightning serial number 42-12967. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South Pacific and reassembled.
Assigned to the 13th Air Force, 4th Photo Reconnaissance Group (4th PRG), 17th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron (17th PRS). No known nickname or nose art. When lost, engines V-1710-55 serial number 42-32222 and V-1710-51 serial number 42-28139.
On April 22, 1943 took off from Fighter 2 (Kukum) on Guadalcanal piloted by 1st Lt. John A. Mancini at 8:00am on a photographic and visual search mission over Kahili on southern Bougainville and the Shortlands. The weather was open to Kolombangara Island, northward was heavy clouds with thunderheads, squall lines and ceiling at 700'. Last seen after take off from Fighter 2 (Kukum). When this aircraft failed to return it was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).
Mancini was officially declared dead on December 17, 1945. He earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously. Mancini is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.
On September 7, 1943 the 17th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron (17th PRS) held a memorial service on Guadalcanal to honor the members of the squadron MIA/KIA to that date including 1st Lt. Harold W. Erwin, 1st Lt. John A. Mancini (MIA F-5A 42-12967), 2nd Lt. Ardell A. Nord (MIA F-5A 42-12678), 2nd Lt. Charles Roberts, Jr. (MIA pilot F-5A 42-12680) 2nd Lt. Fred H. Baird (MIA F-5A 42-12983), 2nd Lt. Roy L. Peterson (MIA F-5A 42-12977) and Pvt Edward P. Gray.
World War II Army Enlistment Records - John A. Mancini
With The 17th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron on Guadalcanal - Mancini flying a reon mission February 20, 1943
USAF Serial Number Search Results - F-5A-10-LO Lightning 42-12967
Missing Air Crew Report 619 (MACR 619)
created August 21, 1943
17th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron (17th PRS) Guadalcanal Memorial Service September 7, 1943
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John A. Mancini
1Lt John A Mancini (tablets of the missing)
Thanks to Donna Esposito and Edward Rogers for additional research
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September 26, 2018