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  F-5A-10-LO Lightning Serial Number 42-12977  
13th AF
4th PRG
17th PRS

Pilot  1st Lt. Roy L. Peterson, O-732062 (MIA / KIA) CA
MIA  August 17, 1943
MACR  273 / 365

Aircraft History
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank, California. Constructors Number 222-7411. 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 42-12977. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South Pacific and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 13th Air Force (13th AF), 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 42-93259 and V-1710-51 serial number 42-93259.

Mission History
On August 17, 1943 took off from Henderson Field on Guadalcanal at 5:15am piloted by 2nd Lt. Roy L. Peterson on a solo photographic and visual search over Kahili Airfield on southern Bougainville. The weather was .5 to .6 cloud coverage to 22,000' with a squall line from Vella LaVella to New Georgia. Last seen after take off from Henderson Field. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).

Peterson was officially declared dead on January 12, 1946. He earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously and was promoted to 1st Lieutenant, posthumously. Peterson 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.

USAF Serial Number Search Results - F-5A-10-LO Lightning 42-12977
"12977 (17th PRS, 4th PRG) lost Aug 17, 1943, Solomon Islands. MACR 365 and 273"
Missing Air Crew Report 273 (MACR 273) created on August 17, 1943
Missing Air Crew Report 365 (MACR 365)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Roy L. Peterson
FindAGrave - 1Lt Roy L Peterson (tablets of the missing photo)
Thanks to Edward Rogers for additional research

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Last Updated
February 18, 2020


Tech Info

1 Missing
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