|Pilot Major Edward "Porky" Cragg, O-421769 (MIA / KIA) Greenwich, CT
MIA December 26, 1943 at 3:30pm
Edward "Porky" Cragg was C.O. of the 80th Fighter Squadron. He claimed 15 kills. His first aircraft was a P-39 Airacobra nicknamed "Porky I". During the war, he claimed nine victories in this aircraft. The mission he was lost he claimed his 15th victory becoming a triple ace. Cragg earned the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC), Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Medal with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters and the Purple Heart, posthumously.
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, 8th Fighter Group, 80th Fighter Squadron. Assigned to pilot Edward "Porky" Cragg. Nicknamed "Porky II". When lost, engines V-1710-89 and V-1710-91 serial numbers (left) 42-29866 and (right) 42-93845. No machine gun serial numbers are listed in the Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) 3146.
On December 26, 1943 took off from North Borio Airstrip (Dobodura No. 15) piloted by craig leading a flight of twelve P-38s on an mission to cover the American force landing at Cape Gloucester. Over the target, they intercept a formation of 20 bombers and 50 fighters. During the combat, nine of the enemy aircraft claimed as shot down and the enemy bombers were forced to drop their bomb load prior to reaching the target.
1st Lt. Burnell W. Adams, 80th Fighter Squadron via MACR 3146
"The P-38 came out of the clouds, a ball of fire and spinning badly. It went in just like that and exploded when it hit. It landed about fifty yards inland on the western shore of Borgen Bay. Thinking that the pilot might have bailed out while in the clouds I stayed in this area for approximately five minutes but observed no parachute. I never did get close enough to the P-38 to observe the color or letter on the nose of the airplane... I decided against going down to view the wreckage."
This P-38 was last observed in a spin after combat with enemy fighters, and crashed on the western shore of Borgen Bay and exploded when it hit the ground. When Cragg failed to return from the mission he was declarded Missing In Action (MIA).
Spotters from the 6th Army observed a parachute descending approximately four miles inland from the scene of the crash, presumed to be from this aircraft. A 6th Army Liaison plane and U. S. Navy PBY Catalina searched for most of the day after, without success.
Cragg was officially declared dead on January 16, 1946. He is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery. The Planes of Fame Museum painted their flying condition P-38J 44-23314 in Craigg's markings as a tribute to him.
Missing Air Crew Report 3146 (MACR 3146)
Letter describing the loss of P-38H "Porky II" 42-66506
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - P-38H Lightning 42-66506
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June 4, 2019