|Pilots 1st Lt. Leo M. Mayo, O-789020 (MIA / KIA) LA
MIA November 2, 1943 at 1:50pm
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-38H-5-LO Lightning serial number 42-66747. Disassembled and shipped overseas and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 475th Fighter Group (475th FG) "Satan's Angles", 432nd Fighter Squadron (432nd FS) "Clover". No known nickname or nose art. When lost, engine V-1710-89 serial numbers 42-93926 and V-1710-91 serial number 42-29995. The 20mm cannon was manufactured by Hispano serial number 58492. The .50 caliber machine gun serial numbers 222762, 222816, 113596, 223045.
On November 2, 1943 took off from North Borio Airfield (Dobodura No. 15) piloted by 1st Lt. Leo M. Mayo on a mission to escort B-25 Mitchells over Rabaul. Weather was 6/10 scattered cumulus clouds from 10,000 to 18,000'.
Over the target, fifty to sixty Japanese fighters intercepted. Departing for Kiriwina Airfield, Lt. Mayo attacked a Japanese fighter from the rear opening fire and causing it to explode. A piece of wreckage from the exploded fighter impacted the right wing of this P-38. Mayo was observed to bail out and landed in the water. When Mayo failed to return, he was officially listed as Missing in Action (MIA).
This P-38 was seen to crash by 1st Lt. Howard A. Hedrick who reported in MACR 1263, page 4:
"I was flying no. 4 in Lieut. Mayo's flight when the accident occurred. We had started for Kiriwinia when Lieut. May saw a Tony and attacked it. He came up behind the Tony very fast and started firing from about two hundred (200) yards. The Tony started burning immediately but Lieut. Mayo kept closing. It exploded with Lieut. Mayo was very close and a large piece shaved his right wing off. He bailed out and landed in the water about fifty (50) feet off shore near Cape Mope, New Britain."
Mayo was officially declared dead on December 15, 1945. He is memorialized on the tablets of missing at Manila America Cemetery. Mayo also has a memorial marker at Hasley Cemetery in West Monroe, LA.
Missing Air Crew Report 1263 (MACR 1263)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) -
Leo M. Mayo
FindAGrave - Leo Mark Mayo (memorial marker)
FindAGrave - 1Lt Leo M Mayo (tablets of the missing photo)
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February 18, 2020