|Pilots 2nd Lt. Kenneth M. Richardson, O-743505 (MIA / KIA) DC
MIA November 2, 1943 at 1:50pm
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, 475th Fighter Group, 431st Fighter Squadron. No known nickname or nose art. When lost, engine V-1710-89 serial numbers 42-29725 and V-1710-91 serial number 42-93803. The 20mm cannon was manufactured by Hispano serial number 58280. The .50 caliber machine gun serial numbers 113249, 397617, 397666, 113511.
On November 2, 1943 took off from North Embi Airfield (Dobodura No. 12) piloted by 2nd Lt. Kenneth M. Richardson on a mission to escort B-25 Mitchells over Rabaul. Weather was described as very unfavorable for flying.
Over the target, fifty to sixty Japanese fighters intercepted. Last seen being attacked by enemy fighters over Simpson Harbor. When Richardson failed to return, he was officially listed as Missing in Action (MIA).
This P-38 was last seen by 1st Lt. Francis J. Lent, MACR 1951, page 8:
"I looked around and saw four Zekes chasing Lt. Richardson over Rabaul Harbor. This was the last I saw of Lt. Richardson."
This P-38 was reported by CILHI as crashed at roughly Lat 4.12 Long 152.11 (another cordinate is Lat 4.29 Long 152.20) at Watwat (Wat Wat) south of Rabaul.
Richardson was officially declared dead on November 2, 1943. He is memorialized on the tablets of missing at Manila America Cemetery.
Missing Air Crew Report 1951 (MACR 1951)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) -
Kenneth M. Richardson
FindAGrave - 2Lt Kenneth M Richardson (tablets of the missing photo)
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June 4, 2019