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  P-38H-1-LO Lightning Serial Number 42-66563  
USAAF
5th AF
8th FG
80th FS
"Headhunters"

Pilot  1st Lt. Robert H. Adams, O-728535 (MIA / KIA) Pomeroy, WA
MIA  September 2, 1943
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank. Constructors Number 1074. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-38H-1-LO Lightning serial number 42-66563. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 8th Fighter Group, 80th Fighter Squadron "Headhunters". No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On September 2, 1943 took off from 3 Mile Drome (Kila Drome) near Port Moresby piloted by 1st Lt. Robert H. Adams on a mission to escort B-25 Mitchells from the 38th Bombardment Group on a low level attack mission against Japanese shipping off Wewak.

Over the target, a total of thirty-six Japanese fighters including Ki-43 Oscars from the 13th Sentai, 24th Sentai and 59th Sentai plus Ki-61 Tonys from the 68th Sentai intercepted the American formation. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA). Possibly, this P-38 force landed near the Fly River.

Memorials
Adams was officially declared dead on December 19, 1945. He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart, posthumously.

Adams is memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing. He also has a memorial marker at Pomeroy City Cemetery in Pomeroy, WA.

References
Pilot also known as Bob Adams in some sources
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Robert H. Adams

USAF Serial Number Search Results - P-38H-1-LO Lightning 42-66563
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - P-38H Lightning 42-66563
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert H. Adams
FindAGrave - 1Lt Robert H Adams (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - 1LT Robert H. Adams (memorial marker photo) date of death listed as September 1, 1943 [sic]
Tuluvu's Air War, Chapter 5 by Richard Dunn

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Last Updated
January 8, 2020

 

Tech Info
P-38

MIA
MIA
1 Missing
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