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|Pilot 1st Lt. Lee C. Haigler, O-724529 (MIA / KIA) Austin, TX
MIA November 13, 1943 at 10:20am
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank. Constructors Number 1043. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-38H-1-LO Lightning serial number 42-66532. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.
During August 1943, assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 35th Fighter Group (35th FG), 39th Fighter Squadron (39th FS). Assigned to pilot Major Thomas J. Lynch. No known nickname or nose art. On the left side of the nose below the cockpit canopy was "Maj. T. J. Lynch" and a scoreboard with Japanese rising sun flags (8x2) indicating his sixteen aerial victory claims as of September 16, 1943.
During late August 1943 until the middle of September 1943, this P-38 was piloted by Major Thomas J. Lynch on combat missions over New Guinea.
On August 20, 1943 flown by Major Thomas J. Lynch on a combat mission over Wewak and claimed two twin engined bombers shot down to the south and southeast of Wewak.
On August 21, 1943 flown by Major Thomas J. Lynch on a mission over Wewak and over Dagua Airfield claimed a Ki-43 Oscar aerial victory and another "Zero" [sic Ki-43 Oscar] damaged.
On September 4, 1943 flown by Major Thomas J. Lynch on a mission over Lae and claimed a "dive bomber" and Ki-43 Oscar as damaged over the Huon Gulf.
On September 16, 1943 flown by Major Thomas J. Lynch on mission and roughly 20 miles northwest of Hansa Bay claimed a Ki-46 Dinah as an aerial victory claim.
When lost, engines V-1710-89 and V-1710-91 serial numbers 42-29643 and 42-93812. Armed with 20mm cannon maker and serial number unknown plus four .50 caliber machine guns makers and serial number unknown..
On November 13, 1943 took off from 14 Mile Drome (Schwimmer) near Port Moresby piloted by 1st Lt. Lee C. Haigler and staged to Kiriwina Airfield for an a escort mission against Rabaul. The weather was a heavy weather front of bad weather. His last contact was by radio to Captain Stanley C. Andrews when he reported his position to be over the sea roughly 40 miles northeast of Buna.
Afterwards, a PBY Catalina search for Haigler the extent is unknown with nil sightings.
Haigler was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and Purple Heart, posthumously. Haigler is memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing. He also has a memorial marker at Oakwood Cemetery Annex in Austin, TX.
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Lee C. Haigler
USAF Serial Number Search Results - P-38H-1-LO Lightning 42-66532
"66532 (35th FG, 39th FS) disappeared on raid on Rabaul Nov 13, 1943, probably due to weather. Pilot MIA."
Missing Air Crew Report 3039 (MACR 3039) created February 21, 1944
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Lee C. Haigler
FindAGrave - 1Lt Lee C Haigler (photo, tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Lee Costley Haigler (photos, memorial marker photo)
Stars & Bars (1995) pages 415-416 (Lynch P-38H 42-66532)
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?
Nov 13, 1943
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