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2nd Lt. John J. Durkin pilot of P-38H "Hold Everything" 42-66826 aboard PBY Catalina being transported back to Port Moresby after being rescued
"SHA 707711 - - NEW YORK BUREAU On the way back to Fifth Army Air Force Headquarters, Lieut. John J. Durkin wears the strings of beads which were gifts of native girls before he left. However, when Acme Newspictures correspondent Thomas Shafer volunteered the opinion that the beads meant marriage, the rescued pilot unhappily wondered if he had a harem."
Original caption: "Pilot Who Won't Stay 'Missing'
New Guinea - - For the second time in two months, Second Lieut. John J. Durkin of Westfield, N.J., has been crossed off the 'missing list.' The pilot's December feat was to show up at 5th American Air Force Headquarters in New Guinea after spending 20 days in the jungle and swampland of the south Dutch New Guinea coast near Jap-held territory [sic]. (Last month, he was rescued from the ocean after a crash landing.) On a mission to Wewak, his plane ran short of gas. Just after leaving the formation to return to base, two Zeros [sic] attacked him and, unable dogfight without fuel, Durkin ducked into a cloud. He lost the Zeros [sic Oscars] but also lost his direction, since his compass was on the blink. Shortly after that, his motors went completely out of gas and Lieut. Dirkin picked out a nice green spot for a crash landing which turned out to be a swampy jungle. After a night on his plane wing, he waded in water up to his nick, and later met some natives who took him in charge and guided him through jungles and crocodile swamps for ten days, from village to village. Finally, a message was relayed to an Allied air base, and a Catalina flying boat was dispatched."

Credit: Acme Photo by Thomas Shafer, war pool correspondent Date: December 20, 1943

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